Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan said on Tuesday said that his country has paved the way for peace talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban, insisting that these talks have been “substantial and constructive”.
Addressing a press conference in Kabul, Zahid Nasrullah said Pakistan has played a key role in the ongoing U.S.-Taliban peace talks. He stressed that the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is aware of Pakistan’s efforts in this regard.
“You can ask Mr. Khalilzad what are the consequences of our efforts. It is due to our efforts that the U.S. and the Taliban are talking. It is due to our efforts that these talks have been substantial and constructive,” Nasrullah said.
The Pakistani envoy also warned that peace talks between the U.S. and Afghan Taliban would be affected if India resorted to violence against Pakistan in response to a recent deadly bombing in the Kashmir region.
“…the Prime Minister of Pakistan also categorically stated that if there is any military action by India, Pakistan will not wait but retaliate. He has made it clear that this issue of Kashmir must be resolved through peaceful dialogue as that of Afghanistan,” Nasrullah said.
His remarks come as tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors has risen sharply over the killing in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Thursday of 40 Indian paramilitary police in a suicide bomb attack claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group.
The U.S. and the Taliban representatives are due to meet in Qatar on February 25 in the next round of talks to end the 17 years of war in Afghanistan.