ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday called for continued “commitment and responsibility” for moving forward on the advancement made in the Afghan peace process so far, as the new US administration plans to review the February 2020 US-Taliban peace deal.
Speaking at his weekly media briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri recalled that three very important developments took place last year; the February 2020 peace deal, start of the intra-Afghan negotiations and the agreement on rules and procedures.
“We believe that the progress on Afghan peace process should be built on these three developments. We also believe that all the parties [into the peace process] should continue showing commitments made during these important developments,” he said.
As far as Pakistan’s position is concerned, he said that Pakistan has consistently maintained that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and an Afghan-led and an Afghan-owned peace process for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement is the best way forward to focus on for achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan.
Towards this end, he added that Pakistan has been constructively engaged with all Afghan sides as well as international stakeholders for facilitating the peace process, adding that the international community has always recognised Pakistan’s efforts in this regard.
“Pakistan appreciates the progress made in the Afghan peace process during the last one year, particularly the signing of the US-Taliban agreement, start of intra-Afghan negotiations and the agreement on the rules and procedures. We believe that intra-Afghan negotiations have now advanced into an important phase where all negotiating sides are required to show continued commitment and responsibility for moving forward,” he said.
He further said that it is important for the Afghans to seize this historic opportunity.
He also reiterated Pakistan’s call on all sides for taking measures for reduction in violence leading to ceasefire which is linked to progress in intra-Afghan negotiations.
“Pakistan reiterates its abiding commitment to a peaceful, stable, sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan,” he added.
The Joe Biden administration has indicated to review the US-Taliban peace deal struck by former Trump administration and it has also been conveyed to Afghanistan.
Taliban are yet to give a response to the new US administration’s plan.
To another question, Chaudhri said that Pakistan is looking forward to work with the new US administration to continue its partnership for achieving the shared objectives of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
He said that Pakistan wants to engage with Biden administration to further strengthen bilateral relations for making it multi-faceted, sustainable and mutually beneficial.
“Pakistan-US bilateral relationship has been a factor for regional peace and stability. We have achieved a lot by working together in the past…continued engagement and coordination is even more compelling today in the context of shared geo political and security challenges,” he said, adding that both the countries have worked closely to achieve the shared objective of peace in Afghanistan.
About Pakistan’s progress on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s action plan, he said that Pakistan has made significant progress on the action plan in the given areas including legal and administrative.
To another query, he urged the international community including the new US administration to take notice of grave human rights violations in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
He said India should be pressurised to improve the human rights situation in the occupied territory and move towards its resolution as per the UN Security Council resolutions.
He also rejected the launch of Ayodhya mosque project in India, replacing historic Babri Masjid, which was demolished by extremist Hindu mob comprising Sangh Parivar groups in 1992.
He said that the BJP government cannot mislead the world by such fabrications or hide its deep hatred for minorities in India, especially Muslims.
“The formal launch of the Ayodhya mosque on India’s Republic Day is feigning false pretensions of secularism in India while the minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship are increasingly under attack,” he added.
He urged the Indian government to ensure safety, security and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship, and fulfil its responsibilities under the international laws.
He also called upon the international community to play its role in preserving the Islamic heritage sites in India from the extremist Hindutva regime and ensure protection of minorities.
He said the use of force against the protesting Sikh farmers is not the conduct of a democratic government, adding that India is not a democracy but is a “fascist state” ruled by “irresponsible regime”.
When asked to comment on the Supreme Court’s order to release four men accused of the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002, the spokesperson declined to comment, saying he is unable to make a comment on the court order unless the detailed judgment is available.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021