Afghan demands

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AFGHANISTAN has reportedly asked Pakistan to hand over five top militant commanders imprisoned in the country, who it believes can play a key role in peace and reconciliation in that country. Advisor to the Afghan President on Reconciliation and Peace Affairs Muhammad Hanif Atmar reportedly recommended the names during meeting with Foreign Minister Kh Muhammad Asif on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly session in New York last month.
Presently, it is not known what would be reaction of the Pakistan Government but there are also unconfirmed reports that the two sides are likely to sign an accord for exchange of prisoners. Pakistan obliged Afghanistan on several occasions in the past by releasing prisoners or handing them over to Kabul for the sake of promoting national reconciliation. Apart from this Pakistan has always expressed its readiness to render assistance for the onerous task and in fact, it delivered Taliban at the negotiating table in Murree and there were prospects of a breakthrough during second round of peace talks but they were scuttled by Kabul itself for reasons best known to authorities there. Pakistan has already detained those who are wanted by Afghanistan but as against this Kabul has not taken any action on repeated requests from Islamabad to arrest or take action against Pakistani Taliban enjoying safe havens in that country. There is clear proof of Afghan soil being misused by TTP and other anti-Pakistan terror groups as well as India. These groups are being used by Indian and Afghan security agencies to destabilise FATA, Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan. Anyhow, we believe that the problem of terrorism can only be resolved through peaceful means and not through use of brutal force, which creates more resentment. Therefore, sincere efforts should be made to bring all sides on the negotiating table and a solution acceptable to all segments of Afghan population is the only guarantee for sustainable peace.