The US national security adviser Susan Rice and German Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the Pakistani capital last week in a bid to push Islamabad to persuade Afghan Taliban to reviving peace talks, which the latter had suspended in July after the announcement of their longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar’s death.
He said the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan will visit Pakistan in the first week of November this year.
This also followed a series of attacks by the Taliban in Kabul and elsewhere in the country that Afghanistan accused Pakistan of orchestrating, a charge Islamabad denied.
The veiled reference to the “spoilers” and anti-peace elements within Pakistan neutralised the positivity generated by the reiteration of the Afghan president’s policy of normalisation of ties with Pakistan. Pakistan is working on a number of cross-border and trans-regional connectivity projects, including infrastructure, road, rail and energy, and promotion of trade and investment.
Karzai also slammed United States for adopting dual politics towards Afghanistan and said the main sanctuaries of terrorism located on the side of Durand Line was never targeted during the past 13 years. He said Pakistan was now focusing on simplification of practices, business friendly visa regimes, regulations, legislations and agreements in the areas of trade and transit which facilitate the flow of goods and services, greater public-private partnership and enhanced people-to-people contacts. “We would also impart training to doctors, paramedical staff, teachers, postal, banking, railways, customs and civil aviation officials”, Sartaj Aziz told the meeting. He lauded President Ashraf Ghani for sharing his vision to make Afghanistan a development- and regionally-integrated country. Mr Karzai, saying the Haqqani group’s role in these attacks must be investigated, said, “The Taliban must begin to act as Afghans, in Afghanistan’s interests, and that includes in our interests with India”.
“The path forward will not be smooth”.
“However, we have also said that further steps have to be decided by the Afghans themselves”.