ISLAMABAD, April 7 (Xinhua) — Pakistan’s top foreign affairs adviser, Sartaj Aziz, said on Thursday that a four-nation group on peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan will meet this month to review the situation after the refusal of the Taliban to join the reconciliation.
The quadrilateral group of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States had invited the Taliban groups and Hizb-e-Islami to take part in direct talks with Kabul by the first week of March. However, they rejected the offer. Pakistan was to host the talks.
The Pakistani adviser told a discussion in Islamabad that efforts are continuing for peace talks in Afghanistan and that it is responsibility of the four-way group to encourage the Taliban to come to the negotiation table.
Afghan reconciliation process is very important. This is a long process and cannot be achieved in one or two meetings, Aziz said.
Dialogue is the only way forward to the Afghan issue and Pakistan is making efforts for dialogue between Afghan Taliban and the Afghan Government, he said.
The Pakistani adviser called for reduction in violence in Afghanistan as it would have a positive impact on the situation. However, he said it is not a precondition for the talks.
Speaking at the gathering Afghan ambassador in Islamabad, Omar Zakhilwal, called for action against those who have refused to take part in the peace negotiations.
The ambassador was referring to an understanding in the quadrilateral process that action would be taken against the irreconcilable elements.
He called for quick progress on peace talks and embark on consequences for those who dont accept to join peace and instead opt for war.
Peace in Afghanistan (for us and our partners) should not be a seasonal objective but rather a consistent, persistent, long-term aim of us all, the Afghan envoy insisted.