Ray of hope on Afghan front

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PAKISTAN and Afghan Taliban on Thursday called for re
sumption of stalled peace talks with the United States as soon as possible. The call was made following delegation level talks between the Taliban led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Pakistani leadership in Islamabad.
This is, indeed, a positive development in the backdrop of suspension of the peace process by the United States last month over killing of an American soldier in Kabul. It is particularly important to note that the two sides in their talks in Islamabad have emphasized that reduction of violence by all parties to the conflict was necessary to provide an enabling environment for resumption of the peace process. The United States and the Kabul Government have been urging Taliban for a ceasefire but they were not willing to oblige until a formal peace agreement was signed. What transpired in Islamabad talks is a clear proof of Pakistan’s commitment to peaceful resolution of the longstanding conflict in Afghanistan and its repeated pledges to contribute fully towards that end. The sudden and unilateral suspension of talks by the United States was serious setback to the peace process and Taliban were the real loser as they were effectively kept out of the recently held presidential elections. Neutral observers and analysts legitimately believe that no political or military arrangement would work in Afghanistan until and unless all segments of the society especially Pushtoon, who constitute the majority, are given their due share in the future set-up. Afghan history tells us that any arrangement to the exclusion of any ethnic or other group including Taliban would not lead to the cherished goal of sustainable peace in that country.

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