High Peace Council Hopes Next Peace Talks to Bear Results

عبدالحکیم مجاهدKABUL: The High Peace Council (HPC) on Saturday hoped the presence of the United States and China in the Afghan peace talks would yield result and make Pakistan to meet its pledges.

The body’s acting chairman, Abdul Hakim Mujahid, said the second phase of peace talks would be different from the first round held in July last year, adding that the US and China would play a greater role in the next negotiations.

He hoped Washington and Beijing would continue playing their part in future negotiations with the Taliban.

According to Mujahid, the quadrilateral meeting slated for January 16 in Islamabad would help press Pakistan to play an honest role in the Afghan conflict’s resolution process.

He, however, said every stakeholder’s sincerity was vital for result-orientated parlays.

A delegation of the Afghan government held face-to-face talks with Taliban representatives for the first time in Murree, a tourist resort near Islamabad in July.

Pakistan hosted the talks while Chinese and US representatives attended the talks as observers.

Members of the Haqqani network were also present in the July talks but a second round of the dialogue was suspended after revelation that Taliban’s leader Mullah Omar had been dead and his death was concealed.

After the suspension of peace talks, Taliban insurgents intensified their attacks, killing and wounding hundreds of Afghans in bomb, suicide attacks and clashes in Kabul and other provinces of the country.

The series of violent incidents prompted President Ashraf Ghani to announce that Afghan officials would not participate in Pakistan-brokered peace negotiations.

But Islamabad repeatedly offered to help resume the process if Kabul and Taliban desired so and Kabul kept asking Islamabad to stop aiding the insurgent group.

On Dec. 27, Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif visited Kabul and held talks with President Ghani and CEO Abdullah.

Both the sides agreed to hold talks with reconcilable Taliban and those not taking the path of peace would be dealt with in accordance with a mutually agreed framework.

The two sides also agreed to call the quadrilateral meeting this month. -Pajhwok

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