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Qureshi, spoilers can pose formidable threat to Afghan peace process

Qureshi: Spoilers Can Pose ‘Formidable Challenges’ to Afghan Peace Process

ISLAMABAD – Talking about the Afghan peace process, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday warned against “spoilers from within and without”, adding that they will pose formidable challenges for peace to prevail in the region.
“Constant vigilance will be required to guard against their machinations,” said the foreign minister, referring to the spoilers in the Afghan peace process as he addressed the ministers’ conference.
Qureshi said that Pakistan was happy it had played its role in facilitating peace talks between the Taliban and the US in Doha earlier this year, calling on all parties and stakeholders in the Afghanistan peace process to seize this “historic opportunity” for peace in the country.
The government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, after waging war against each other for 19 years, have finally come to the table for talks in hopes to ensure durable peace in the country.
Multiple rounds of talks since last year have taken place in Doha between the two parties with Pakistan facilitating the truce and the US eager for an exit from the war-ravaged country.
The Taliban, who fought a years-long guerrilla campaign against American and Afghan forces after they were forced from power in a 2001 US-led invasion, did not mention a truce as they came to the negotiating table a few weeks ago.
Afghan presidential spokesperson Sediq Seddiqi had earlier tweeted that the presence of government negotiators at the talks “is aimed at achieving a ceasefire, ending the violence and ensuring lasting peace and stability in the country.”
The head of the peace process for the Afghan government, Abdullah Abdullah, had earlier suggested the Taliban could offer a ceasefire in exchange for the release of more of their jailed fighters.
Delegates have warned that negotiations, which take place even as fighting continues in Afghanistan, would be arduous and messy.
“We will undoubtedly encounter many challenges in the talks over the coming days, weeks and months,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said during a visit to Doha Sunday.
He also urged the warring sides to “seize this opportunity” to secure peace.
(Sahar News)

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