Afghanistan should offer Taliban something they can’t gain on battlefield: Sartaj Aziz

Sartaj-AzizISLAMABAD: The Pakistani foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz has said the Afghan government should offer Taliban something they cannot gain in battlefield in a bid to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Sartaj further added “We can only bring the Taliban on the table using our influence, but ultimately Afghanistan has to talk with them. They (Afghan government) should strengthen their position on ground and secondly they should offer them (Taliban) something which they cannot gain on battlefield and lastly, the process should be consistent.”

This is not the first time Sartaj has admitted regarding Pakistan’s influence on Afghan militant groups including the Taliban group.

Earlier, Sartaj said the Pakistani government could use certain leverages to encourage the Taliban group to participate in direct peace talks with the Afghan government, including some facilities the Taliban leadership uses in Pakistan such hospitals.

In an interview with the state-owned PTV, Mr Sartaj however said “Most of the groups fighting in Afghanistan are fighting from within but the perception persists that Pakistan should take action against them.”

He also claimed credit for the formation of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group and said Pakistan had succeeded in forming the Quadrilateral Coordination Group at the last Heart of Asia Conference and the group formed a good mechanism.

“Our viewpoint was that you (Nato and Isaf) have been fighting for the last 15 years but could not bring peace, now dialogue is the only option for if Taliban cannot occupy Afghanistan they can continue this fight for years.”

This comes as the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for allowing the Afghan anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban and Haqqani terrorist network to use its soil to plan and coordinate attacks in Afghanistan.

The Afghan officials insist that the Taliban group and Haqqani network leaderships are based in Quetta and Peshawar cities of Pakistan as they enjoy the facilities provided by certain elements in Pakistan to use the sanctuaries provided to act openly and coordinate attacks in Afghanistan. -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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