Code 166108
PublishDate: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 09:35

Pakistan FM and Taliban discuss status of peace process

In a statement issued by Qureshi’s office, the foreign ministry said views were exchanged on the current situation and discussions were held on the way forward, 
According to the statement, Qureshi emphasized that “there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a political settlement was the only way forward.”
The “Foreign Minister underlined that this historic opportunity must be seized by the Afghan stakeholders to secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive negotiated political solution,” read the statement.
Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan and emphasized the need for the implementation of the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February so as to pave the way for the immediate start of intra-Afghan negotiations. 
“The Foreign Minister also cautioned against ‘spoilers’ who did not wish to see return of peace in the region,” the statement read. 
In addition to discussions around peace, Qureshi also highlighted the importance of Pakistan-Afghanistan ties based on amity, shared history and geography and reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. 
He urged the international community to enhance its engagement for reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan. 
The Foreign Minister also underscored the need for creating economic opportunities and an environment conducive for the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honor.
Baradar in turn affirmed support for efforts for peace, security and development in Afghanistan, the statement read. 
A Taliban Political Commission delegation led by Baradar had also visited Pakistan in October 2019 for consultations on the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.
This visit comes just days after Pakistan imposed sanctions on individuals and “terrorist associated groups”, including Baradar, in keeping with the United Nations Security Council resolutions in order to avoid being demoted from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list.
Included in the measures taken, which would theoretically directly affect Baradar, Pakistan imposed a travel ban on 88 individuals and seized bank accounts and assets belonging to terrorists in the country. 
In a statement last week, the Foreign Ministry said: “The sanctions are being implemented by Pakistan in compliance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and we hope that other countries will also follow suit.” 
This notification comes ahead of the crucial FATF meeting in October which will see the force assess Pakistan’s progress in fighting crimes such as money laundering and terror financing. 
Pakistan has long been accused of sheltering and supporting Taliban leaders but Islamabad has continued to deny the charges.
Pakistan meanwhile has been on FATF’s grey list since June 2018 and was given a final warning in February.

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