Pakistan urges Afghan Taliban to renounce violence

KABUL (Pajhwok): In a fresh development, Pakistan on Thursday appealed to the Afghan Taliban and other insurgent groups in Afghanistan to recognise President Ashraf Ghani’s government, a move largely seen as a proof that Islamabad was now serious to forge a peace deal in Afghanistan, media reports.
Pakistan’s Express Tribune reports that briefing the senate foreign affairs committee at the Parliament House, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry called on the Afghan Taliban to renounce violence and join the national mainstream.
Aizaz told the panel presided over by Nuzhat Sadiq that Pakistan had asked Kabul not to allow insurgents to take control of the country. He said Islamabad had conveyed a clear message to the insurgents to halt violence.
However, questions are being raised over whether Pakistan has any influence left over the Taliban as the group recently contradicted a statement made by Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz that Islamabad facilitated a meeting between Taliban representatives and Afghan government officials in Urmuqi, China.
Taliban expressed ignorance about the reported meeting and clarified that only their political office in Qatar was conducting such interactions.
Aziz had said another such meeting was being planned between the Taliban and Afghan government officials.

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