Officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday said the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has assured officials in Kabul that Islamabad will not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and that it will use all its efforts to facilitate face-to-face talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
“Pakistan has committed to do whatever it can for peace in Afghanistan,” said Sibghat Ahmadi, a spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “He (Qureshi) described peace and stability in Afghanistan in the interest of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the region.”
Presidential Palace in a statement said that Qureshi met with President Ashraf Ghani where thy discussed Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, bilateral issues, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and next steps after intra-Afghan talks.
Qureshi is expected to visit Iran, China and Russia.
Talking to media before his departure in Islamabad, Qureshi said Pakistan wants peace and stability in the region.
He said the aim of his visit is to take the friendly countries into confidence on recent developments in the region.
“Two days, four countries. We’re not slowing down as the year ends. I’ve had productive meetings with the Afghan leadership this morning. The peace process is making positive headway. Next stop is Iran. Regional connectivity and a collective outlook is essential for progress,” Qureshi tweeted.
At the meeting, Afghan officials have called on Islamabad to put pressure on the Taliban to hold talks with the Afghan government in the next meeting which will be held in Jeddah next month.
“Pakistanis have also said that they are trying to bring the Taliban to conduct direct talks with the Afghan government,” added Ahmadi.
“We expect Pakistan to put pressure on supporters of those who are trying to disrupt the peace process to avoid damaging the process and instead persuade the Taliban to hold talks with the Afghan government delegation,” said Sayed Ehsan Tahiri, the High Peace Council’s spokesman.
“I am not too much optimistic, because Pakistan is trying to pursue its own interests in these trips,” said university lecturer Nasrallah Stanekzai.