December 16, 2018

Kabul- Reacting to a statement by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on facilitating talks between US and Taliban officials, the  Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Sunday said the meeting would mark Islamabad’s first practical step towards the peace process in Afghanistan if it happens on December 17.

MoFA spokesman Sibghat Ahmadi said Pakistan’s cooperation in the peace process in Afghanistan is crucial.

“The United States has also increased its pressure. So far, we have achieved some results, but we hope that these results are achieved in larger scale,” said Ahmadi.

But, one member of the High Peace Council (HPC) said Taliban officials from Quetta shura will not attend the meeting, but Taliban’s representatives from Qatar office will talk to the Americans in the meeting.

“Taliban representative from Qatar will attend these talks,” said HPC deputy chief Assadullah Zaeeri.

“Talks between Taliban and Khalilzad must take place in Qatar. If these talks are held in other country including Pakistan, I don’t think that a positive result from the talks is achieved, because this will further complicate the peace process,” said political affairs analyst Nazar Mohammad Mutmaen.

Afghan and US officials have often called on Pakistan to convince the Taliban to attend the peace table.

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