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Sartaz Aziz : Time not right for Afghan peace talks revival

Tuesday, Nov 3, 2015,13:27 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Islamabad | Pakistan’s top diplomat has said that time was not right for working on revival of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban militants. Right now I don’t think the time is opportune, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said yesterday during a seminar at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) think-tank here.

His statement came weeks after Prime Minister Sharif said that Pakistan was working to restart the stalled peace talks between the Afghan government and the militants. Aziz said it was important for the revival of peace talks that the warring sides were convinced about the usefulness of the process and then create an atmosphere for it. Pre-conditions for a successful outcome are required, and that requires consensus on both sides.

The Afghanistan government is one of the sides and the Taliban are the other, and they have to come to the situation which they think that useful discussions can take place, he said. He also said that reconciliation was the only way forward for Afghanistan and his country would continue to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

After years of protracted effort the first round of talks was held at hill resort of Murree near Islamabad in July and the process was suspended after news of death of Taliban chief Mullah Omar was made public towards end of July. Since then the talks have been on hold due to Taliban’s internal issues and a ruthless campaign of attack at Kabul government.