Members of the delegation from the Afghan government that accompanied Abdullah Abdullah on his three-day visit to Pakistan say that Pakistani leaders agreed to not repeat the nation's past policies toward Afghanistan—a promise that analysts say will help the peace process if it is put into practice.
The last meeting held by Abdullah's delegation was with Pakistani President Arif Alvi on Wednesday, in which they discussed the Afghan peace process and the relations between the two neighboring countries, as well as other current topics, according to a statement by Abdullah’s office.
Back in Doha, the negotiating teams of both sides did not hold a meeting between their contact groups to discuss the procedural meetings. They have held seven meetings over the last three weeks since the opening ceremony.
Abdullah also met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday evening and discussed the peace process among other current topics, Abdullah’s office statement read.
Mohammad Umer Daudzai, President Ghani’s special envoy for Pakistan, who accompanied Abdullah on the trip, said Islamabad does not have a clear stance on a ceasefire in Afghanistan.
“The (Pakistani) president rounded up (his remarks) and his remarks were that there were mistakes in the past and ‘we will not repeat them,’ peace is the priority and peace in Afghanistan is peace in Pakistan, security in Afghanistan is security in Pakistan,” Daudzai told TOLOnews on Wednesday.
The Afghan delegation said Pakistan has made assurances that it will help the peace process and bring an end to the war by applying a different policy. The officials said they asked the Pakistani administration to convince the Taliban to show flexibility on the ceasefire.
“We want to see their practical cooperation as they pledged to work to cooperate in all sectors and in the peace process. We will see what role they will play in the peace process,” said Ata-Ur-Rahman Salim, the deputy head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.
“They were saying that ways should be sought to agree on a reduction in violence, but they did not focus on a ceasefire,” said Daudzai.
Most meetings of the two sides were held behind closed doors, according to TOLOnews’ Khaled Nikzad who covered the trip.
“First of all you have to appreciate the differences, the different positions, and after understanding and appreciating those positions, you go in a very slow, mature and prudent manner to remove those obstacles,” said Anwar-Ul-Haq Kakar, a Pakistani MP.
“The implementation of the promise will have a good impact on the peace negotiations,” said Zohra Motahar Ahmadzai, deputy head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.