Pakistan opposes preconditions for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
A key meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and US resumed on Monday to revive stalled Afghan peace process and find a roadmap to end the ongoing violence in Afghanistan.
“It is important that no preconditions are attached to the reconciliation process, as it will create difficulties in bringing Taliban to the negotiating table,” Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said at the meeting.
“Proper sequencing is required in the negotiating process,” he said, adding that “threat of use of military action against the group will cause hindrances and cannot proceed the offer of talks to all groups.”
He said that it was important to undertake a realistic assessment of the opportunities as well as anticipated obstacles in the process and then develop clarity on how to proceed further.
“I want to reaffirm that Pakistan values its brotherly and neighborly relations with Afghanistan, and is firmly committed to continue serious efforts for long term peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he added.
Afghanistan hoped that Pakistan will share a list of insurgents who are ready for peace talks.
Apart from Aziz, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai and Pakistani foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson as well as China’s special envoy on Afghanistan affairs Deng Xijun attended the meeting.
The first round of talks was held in July but the process was suspended in the same month after news of Taliban chief Mullah Omar’s death was announced.
Officials from Pakistan, China and US were present when representatives of the Taliban and the Afghan government met in Murree near Islamabad during the first round.
According to officials, the second round may take place towards the end of January in Kabul if the four nations agreed on the minimum agenda of talks.