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Pak asks Taliban to resume talks with US for early resolution of Afghan conflict

Pak asks Taliban to resume talks with   US for early resolution of Afghan conflict

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday asked the Taliban to grasp the opportunity and resume talks with the US for an early and peaceful resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan, saying war is not a solution, as top leaders of the militant group met Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi here.

A high-level Taliban delegation met Qureshi as part of a push to revive the Afghan peace process stalled after US President Donald Trump abruptly declared the talks with the rebel group "dead".

The Foreign Office said in a statement that a delegation of the Taliban Political Commission (TPC) called on Qureshi. The delegation was led by the head of TPC Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar and included senior members of the commission.

Welcoming the delegation, the Foreign Minister noted that while the people of both Afghanistan and Pakistan have a shared history, geography and culture, Islam remains the strongest bond between the two brotherly countries.

"While appreciating Taliban's serious engagement in the peace process, he underscored the need to take these efforts to their logical conclusion," Qureshi said.

Qureshi noted that the existing, broad regional and international consensus for achieving peace in Afghanistan at the earliest provided an unprecedented opportunity that must not be lost.

The US and the Taliban had agreed on draft peace plan, but the process was suspend by President Trump following killing of an American soldier in Kabul last month in a suicide attack claimed by the Taliban.

Trump stunned the world when he suddenly declared that the Afghan peace talks with the Taliban were "dead".

He cancelled a secret meeting with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David near Washington after the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Kabul, in which an American soldier was among the dead.

Qureshi said it was up to the parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to grasp this opportunity. Qureshi also expressed the hope that the currently paused peace process would be restarted at an early date. Qureshi said that "Pakistan has maintained for several years that there is no military solution to the complex situation in Afghanistan.

An inclusive peace and reconciliation process, involving all sections of the Afghan society, was the only, practical way forward. "It was time to make all possible efforts for an early and peaceful resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan,

he said.

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