ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Monday expressed the hope that Taliban’s political office in Qatar may join the ongoing talk process between Afghan government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan.
Talking to reporters here, Aziz said that Pakistan hosted the talks between Afghan government and the Tehreek -e-Taliban Afghanistan on July 7, 2015 and it was for the first time that the two sides held a direct meeting.
“It was for the fist time that the Afghan government and the Taliban met directly and openly and it was not a secret meeting. This is a good start and we are hoping for the best,” he said, adding he was satisfied with the talks.
He said that Pakistan’s government facilitated both the Afghan government and the Taliban representatives to come to the table.
To a question whether Afghan Taliban’s Qatar political office will join the dialogue process, he expressed optimism, saying “We are hopeful the Qatar office will join the talks, as they [Qatar office] will have to abide by the Taliban shura’s decision”.
About the level of participation from Taliban’s side in the Murree talks, he did not disclose any name but stated that central leaders of the shura were part of the Taliban delegation.
The next meeting as decided by the Afghan government’s delegations led by Deputy Foreign Minister Khalil Hekmat Karzai and the Taliban representatives will take place after Ramazan and the dates are yet to be decided.
Asked to comment on the recent statement issued by Taliban that its leaders associated with “Quetta Shura” and influenced by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies participated in the meeting on July 7 in Murree and they don’t have the authority to hold the talks, Aziz stated: “All are aware of the fact that the Taliban representatives who participated in the talks were empowered by their leadership”.
Source: Business Recorder