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Pakistan says political incentives key to bring Afghan Taliban to negotiations table

foAs the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Islamabad for supporting the anti-government armed militant groups in Afghanistan, specifically the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network, the Pakistani officials have once again started to lobby in favor of the group, emphasizing on consideration of political incentives to encourage the group to reconciliation negotiations.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Nafees Zakaria made the remarks during a press briefing on Thursday.

“Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The focus should be on a politically negotiated settlement under an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process,” Zakariza said.

He also added “We believe the focus should be on exploring political incentives that can attract Taliban to negotiations. In the same spirit, Pakistan has welcomed the peace deal with Hizb-i-Islami and we believe that this can serve as a model.”

The Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman was responding to a question regarding the warnings issued by President Ghani to accept peace talks or get ready for the inclusion in the global list of specially designated terrorist groups.

President Ghani said last week that the Taliban group should understand that time is not waiting for them.

“They should wholeheartedly accept the peace process or they should get ready to be included in the international list of the globally designated terrorists,” President Ghani said.

President Ghani further added that the government of national unity has a crystal clear approach and policy towards peace process since the beginning of its formation.

In the meantime, during a meeting with the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Afghan leader said less time is left for the Taliban group to accept the reconciliation process offers, apparently reiterating the government’s pervious stance that strict military operations policy will adopted along with the efforts to blacklist the group.

President Ghani further added that the priorities of the Afghan government is to reach to a peace agreement with Pakistan first and then with the Taliban group, emphasizing that Taliban is not having a single leadership and apparently gesturing towards the undeclared war being waged by Pakistan as he has consistently been emphasizing upon for a long time.

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