- We remain hopeful that the year 2021 will witness the dawn of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, FOs said.
- The second round of intra-Afghan talks will begin on Saturday, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said.
Welcoming the commencement of the second round of Intra Afghan negotiations in Doha, Pakistan said it is hopeful that the year 2021 will witness the dawn of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
In a statement, the Foreign Office (FO) said that the two teams have made significant progress by finalizing the rules and procedures last month and have now reconvened to negotiate on substantive issues.
"The year 2020 witnessed substantial progress towards peace in Afghanistan, with a number of positive developments including conclusion of U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement on 29 February 2020, start of intra-Afghan Negotiations on 12 September 2020, and agreement on Rules and Procedures on 2 December 2020, which paved the way for meaningful progress in the peace talks," FO said.
Pakistan called upon both sides to remain constructively engaged and show flexibility in the negotiations for reaching an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement 'which would lead to lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan'.
The FO statement further said that Pakistan’s constructive role and facilitation of the Afghan peace process has been recognized by the international community, and it the country strongly believes that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict.
FO said that the only way forward is a negotiated political solution through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. Pakistan, on its part, would continue to extend all possible support for the Afghan peace process, FO said.
Pakistan said that the high level of violence in Afghanistan remains a matter of concern. "Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly called on all sides to take measures for reduction in violence leading to ceasefire. We are hopeful that the two sides will prioritize working out a road-map for reduction in violence and ceasefire in the negotiations," FO added.
The second round of intra-Afghan talks started on Wednesday during a preparatory meeting. Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said on Twitter that it was decided the teams would begin substantive discussions on Saturday.