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Afghan peace negotiator urges new era in ties with Pakistan


The chief of Afghanistan’s peace negotiating workforce mentioned Tuesday on a go to to Pakistan that the time has come for the 2 neighboring nations to shun the suspicion, “stale rhetoric” and drained conspiracy theories which have dogged previous relations.

Abdullah Abdullah is in Pakistan on a bridge-building mission meant to fix deep-rooted distrust between the 2 nations. It was his first go to in 12 years.

Abdullah informed the Institute of Strategic Studies in the federal capital of Islamabad that the 2 neighbors are on the brink of a new relationship characterised by “mutual respect, sincere cooperation and shared prosperity.”

“I am a firm believer that after many troubling years, we now need to go beyond the usual stale rhetoric and shadowy conspiracy theories that have held us back,” Abdullah mentioned. “We cannot afford to pursue business as usual. We need fresh approaches and our people demand it. It is more urgent than ever to look to our region as one region. ”

His statements come forward of conferences later Tuesday with Pakistan’s highly effective military chief and prime minister. His go to additionally comes at a vital time in Afghanistan’s troubled historical past as a government-appointed negotiation workforce is in the Gulf state of Qatar brokering an finish to warfare with its Taliban foes.

Even earlier than coming to energy in 2018, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has advocated for a political finish to Afghanistan’s warfare and has been a powerful critic of Washington’s so-called warfare on terror saying it has left tens of hundreds of Pakistanis and Afghans lifeless.

But many in Afghanistan have been crucial of the assist the Taliban acquired in Pakistan following the collapse of their rule in 2001 with the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. Pakistan argues its relationship with the Taliban was what gave it leverage to press the spiritual militia into negotiations.

Still, Afghans are deeply suspicious of Pakistan and authorities officers worry Pakistan’s continued involvement in their nation as a method to counter its hostile neighbor India’s affect in Afghanistan. Pakistan and India have gone to warfare thrice and each Pakistan and India accuse one another of utilizing Afghan territory to undermine stability in the area.

Pakistan has come beneath worldwide criticism for its assist for some militant teams and opposition to others. While Pakistan’s navy and politicians say that coverage has been relegated to the previous, Islamabad’s neighbors stay suspicious.

“We do not want a terrorist footprint in our country or to allow any entity to pose a threat to any other nation,” Abdullah mentioned Tuesday. “The current intra-Afghan talks offer the best hope to put the war behind and using patience, dialogue and compromise to agree to unite the country. ”

Abdullah and the United States, which brokered the peace deal with the Taliban to start out negotiations with the federal government, have been urgent for talks to be accompanied by a discount in violence.

The Taliban have refused.

“We call on all sides to agree to seriously reduce violence and protect civilians from further harm as we aim for a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire,” Abdullah mentioned.

Still the violence continues and on Tuesday in Afghanistan’s central Day Kundi province a roadside bomb killed at the least 14 civilians, together with 5 kids, as they travelled from one district to a different, mentioned Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian.

“Peace is not only an Islamic tenet and duty, but it is also that unique historical opportunity that should not be squandered,” mentioned Abdullah. “Now that the ice has been broken, we all have a role and a responsibility to help it move toward fruition and prevent a relapse.”


Associated Press author Tameem Akhgar in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report


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