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Khalilzad Discusses Afghan Peace Process with Pakistani Officials

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(Last Updated On: April 5, 2019)

The U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad on Friday and discussed the Afghan peace process.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Khalilzad has briefed Qureshi on the outcome of Doha talks and his recent engagements in the region.

“He also shared updates on his meetings in Afghanistan and the dynamics of the Intra-Afghan dialogue,” the statement said.

“The Foreign Minister, while appreciating his efforts, reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the peace process. He said that intra-Afghan Dialogue was a vital component of the reconciliation process,” said that statement adding, “He also said that Pakistan wished well for the peace and stability in Afghanistan which would directly benefit Pakistan’s own vision for economic and human development.”

Earlier on Friday morning, Khalilzad had delegation-level talks with the Pakistani representatives led by the country’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and discussed progress on the Afghan peace process.

“The Foreign Secretary also briefed him about a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Qureshi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” the statement said.

“She informed about their mutual interest in further progress on Afghanistan peace efforts and that they agreed to remain engaged to pursue the reconciliation process,” the statement added.

“Tehmina Janjua held talks with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation on efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted.

According to Pakistani media, Khalilzad will also hold separate meetings with the top civil and military leadership during his visit to the country.

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At least 15 dead in stampede near Pakistan consulate in Jalalabad

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2020)

At least 15 Afghans, many of them elderly women, were killed and more than a dozen injured in a stampede in Jalalabad in Nangarhar province while waiting for visas from the Pakistan consulate, officials said Wednesday. 

The incident happened on Tuesday in an open ground close to the Pakistan consulate where over 3,000 Afghans had gathered to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa to travel to Pakistan. 

Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member in Jalalabad city, said of the 15 people dead, 11 were women and several senior citizens were wounded.

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Pakistan parliament to host trade and investment forum for Afghans

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2020)

Pakistan’s National Assembly will host a Pakistan-Afghanistan trade and economic forum next week to enhance bilateral relations and find ways to overcome transit and trade challenges. 

The two-day seminar in Islamabad will include a 17-member Afghan parliamentary delegation led by the Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) and representatives from Afghanistan’s trade and investment community. 

Pakistan’s The News reported delegates attending from Pakistan will include political leaders, academics, investors, and traders.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the opening ceremony of the conference on October 26 and a video message from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will be telecast during the event.

The seminar is being viewed as a positive sign of change and a way to overcome issues faced by traders and investors in both countries and will also open new avenues of political and parliamentary cooperation and coordination between the two countries. 

 

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Gailani calls for Afghans to unite under the umbrella of Islam 

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2020)

After weeks of waiting for progress around the Afghan peace talks that are currently underway in Doha, Hamid Gailani, the leader of the Mahaz-e-Milli Islami Afghanistan party on Tuesday called on all parties to the conflict to unite as Muslims and to form an interim government. 

Gailani called on both government and the Taliban to take steps consistent with what “the mighty Allah has said about peace”. Citing the Holy Quran, Gailani said “and peace is good”  and that “we should do good for the people.”

“We are both Afghan and Muslim and it is the Afghans and Muslims who are suffering on both ends, people who die or get wounded from any of the sides are both Afghan and Muslim.

“Brothers, let’s be united, jointly and with understanding and for the sake of Allah, get rid of this sedition and take steps toward peace, which has been favored by Allah,” said Gailani, who is the son of the late politician and respected religious leader Pir Sayed Ahmed Gailani. 

In reference to negotiations, Gailani suggested a shift in dynamics and said: “Both sides are plaintiff. In every (traditional) negotiation, religion/Sharia, national traditions, and international law, there is always a need for a third side in conflict resolution. Therefore, as I see it we have no option for solving the issue other than the formation of an interim administration, in which all sides will have representation and agreed by all, and steps towards peace be taken in light of it.”

“Then a national government, according to the wishes of people and with the participation of all sides based on national consensus, be formed so that the seditious war comes to an end.”

Gailani is yet another voice calling for an end to the ongoing war – a war that has lasted for almost 40 years and one which the majority of stakeholders, including foreign partners and neighboring countries agree that there is no military solution. 

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