No military solution to Afghan conflict: Pakistan

Islamabad, May 3 (IANS) Pakistan on Tuesday opposed a military option to resolve the dragging Afghan conflict, saying such a policy had not brought results for 14 long years.

The comments by Pakistan’s top Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, came days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani pressed Islamabad to take military action against the Afghan Taliban leaders who Kabul claims are living in Pakistan.

Ghani told Parliament on April 25 that Afghanistan does not “expect Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiation table”, a major shift from Kabul’s previous policy.

Aziz said in Islamabad that political dialogue was still a viable option.

“Afghanistan has been insisting that if the peace negotiations do not start, then other option should be tried. But that option has been used for 14 years but it has not produced any result,” he said.

“Results cannot be achieved in weeks but it takes time. I do not see any other option to bring peace to Afghanistan,” he told reporters.

He spoke after addressing a seminar on “Pakistan’s non-proliferation efforts and strategic export control system”.

He confirmed the visit to Pakistan by a delegation of the Afghan Taliban’s political negotiators, saying that member countries of the quadrilateral group were in contact with the Taliban office in Qatar for peace talks.

The four-way process of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US was launched in December for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The Taliban refused to take part in the direct talks with the Afghan government.

Aziz said the Taliban’s Spring Offensive had not changed the ground situation.

“Taliban have failed to control any area… I am hopeful the peace process could begin if the situation on the ground remains,” he said.

–IANS

ahm/mr

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