Pakistan ready to facilitate dialogue between Afghan govt, Taliban: Sartaj Aziz


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said it is ready to facilitate dialogue between the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban which is expected to start in the upcoming weeks.

“Pakistan is ready to play any possible role in the reopening of dialogue between Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government where ever it is being planned,” Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz told the first ever meeting of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee at Parliament House.

The Taliban have previously shown reservations about Pakistan’s involvement in peace talks.

The adviser said the expected dialogue must have some positive impact on the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan with hopes that it may be reduced.

He said not only the Taliban but many foreign fighters are still fighting in Afghanistan.

Aziz said the Afghan Taliban must respect the mandate given by the people of Afghanistan to those who are now in power after the Afghanistan elections last year.

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry told the committee that there are no foot prints of IS and that there is no direct threat to Pakistan from IS, however, security agencies must be cognisant of the situation and take precautionary measures.

He confirmed the agreement for peace talks between Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Afganistan’s domestic intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) but said the agreement has yet to be ratified and confirmed from the Afghan government.

The agreement for talks comes only days after an attack on Afghanistan’s parliament which was claimed by the Afghan Taliban.

Afghanistan’s intelligence service had said a Pakistani intelligence officer had helped the Taliban carry out the attack on the parliament.

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