Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said he would call on US President Donald Trump’s administration to change its military-oriented policy to one of dialogue and hold talks with the Afghan Taliban in a bid to bring peace and security to the war-ravaged country.
He also stressed the need for a role to be considered for other countries, especially Iran and Russia, in the Afghan peace process, saying these countries have a major influence on the Taliban.
"Peace talks with the Taliban could be arranged if Washington works with countries in the region that have influence over the militant group", Pakistan Radio quoted Asif, as saying.
The statement comes amid heightened tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Asif is also expected to meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other high level officials from the Trump administration.
“The way for peace is opened, any group will go for peace, the Afghan government is ready for it,” said deputy presidential spokesman Dawa Khan Menapal.
“The High Peace Council which has taken the initiative and entered into dialogue and consultations with armed opponents should clarify the information, sources and all individuals involved in the process with the media,” said senator Nisar Haris.
This new development takes place just a few weeks after Trump unveiled his new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia in which he severely criticized Pakistan over its continued support of the Taliban and its brutal offshoot the Haqqani network.
He warned that the US could take tough action against Pakistan if Islamabad does not change its policy towards insurgent groups including the Taliban.