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Mansoor’s death scuttled peace parleys, claims Aziz

Mansoor’s death scuttled peace parleys, claims Aziz

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Jan 16, 2017 - 08:17

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Both Kabulinfo-icon and Talibaninfo-icon lack consensus on peace negotiations, Pakistaninfo-icon’s foreign affairs adviser says, asserting his country’s sincere cooperation with an Afghan-led reconciliation effort.

"The fundamental issue here is that there is no consensus in Afghanistaninfo-icon; they themselves are not clear whether they should fight the Taliban or hold dialogue with them," Sartaj Aziz said.

In an interview published on Monday, Aziz said the insurgent movement was also divided on the issue. "The same applies to the Taliban; some groups want to fight on while others want to talk it out."

Speaking to Dawn, the adviser recalled when President Ashraf Ghani was elected, he expected Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, though it did not have that much of influence.

Six months later, Pakistan managed to arrange a meeting between Taliban and the Ghani administration. After the first meeting, a second round was to take place on July 31, 2015.

"However, the elements that didn't want this dialogue process to proceed announced the death of Mullahinfo-icon Omar, sabotaging the effort," he alleged, claiming some progress made after Mullah Mansoor took over as Taliban’s supreme leader.

However, he regretted, the entire effort was rendered useless when the United States killed Mansoor in a drone strike near the Afghan-Pakistan border.

He opined the insurgency could be eliminated only if the Afghan government took charge of the situation in the country. Aziz dismissed the perception about Pakistan's alleged involvement in fuelling violence in Afghanistan.

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