Pakistan on Sunday welcomed ” reconciliation” talks between the Afghan Taliban and members of the Kabul-backed negotiators in Qatar.
An eight-member delegation of the Taliban and Afghan High Peace Council sat face-to-face in Doha for the second day to share proposals for solution to problems in the war-torn country.
“We support any formal or informal talks that lead to reconciliation in Afghanistan,” Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry told reporters.
“Pakistan backs every gathering aimed at achieving the goal of the peace in Afghanistan,” he said.
A Taliban spokesman said its participation in the Qatar conference, organized by the Canadian-based Pugwash, “should not be misconstrued as peace or negotiation talks.”
A 20-member delegation from Afghanistan, including High Peace Council spokesman Maulvi Shehzada Shahid and senior member Attaulah Ludin, is attending the meeting after the Taliban refused to join the intra-Afghan dialogue.
A two-member team of Hizb-e-Islami (Hekmatyar), the second largest resistance movement in Afghanistan, is also present at the Qatar talks.
The official Qatar News Agency has described the meeting as reconciliatory.
“The dialogue will be through open discussions about the Afghan reconciliation between all parties in Afghanistan,” the agency reported.
It is the third time that the Taliban group is attending a conference along with the representatives of the Afghan government. The Taliban political council’s members had attended similar meetings in France and Japan but they did not hold direct talks with the government. Enditem