News / Asia

Pakistani Official says Afghanistan-Taliban Peace Deal Possible

Pakistani official Sartaj Aziz (left) with Afghan Energy Minister Ismail Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept. 18, 2013.Pakistani official Sartaj Aziz (left) with Afghan Energy Minister Ismail Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept. 18, 2013.
x
Pakistani official Sartaj Aziz (left) with Afghan Energy Minister Ismail Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept. 18, 2013.
Pakistani official Sartaj Aziz (left) with Afghan Energy Minister Ismail Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept. 18, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
A top Pakistani official says he believes a peace deal between Afghanistan and the Taliban is possible provided the government in Kabul shows flexibility. 

The Taliban leadership is believed to be hiding in Pakistan and is allegedly guiding the Afghan insurgency with the support of elements within the Pakistani military.  Islamabad denies involvement, although it had helped the Islamist group to rise to power in Kabul in the 1990s.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has long pressed Pakistan to use its influence with the Taliban to bring them to the table for talks, but the insurgent group is opposed to negotiations until foreign troops leave the country.

There are growing worries Afghan security forces may not be able to prevent the Taliban from recapturing power after 2014 when most international troops will have withdrawn from the country.

Speaking Sunday in Islamabad, Pakistani National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor Sartaj Aziz indicated a peace deal in Afghanistan is still within reach.

“The Taliban has already established its rule in some Afghan districts, but it is Pakistan’s assessment the group will not be able to regain control of the whole country” after the foreign troops stage their planned withdrawal, Aziz said.

The Pakistani advisor said there are about 350,000 Afghan security forces and the anti-Taliban northern alliance has also grown stronger, therefore, the Taliban would also be looking for a way out to end the conflict through the process of political reconciliation. He urged the Afghan government to show flexibility to come up with an offer that would encourage the Taliban to join the peace process. 

Meanwhile, Aziz indicated the option of using military force to deal with the problem of militancy in Pakistan is kept open. He warned the militancy has become an “existential threat” to Pakistan.   

“[It is a] very complex issue and there is no simple answer to it because we have had several agreements in the past [with the Pakistani Taliban] and they were not upheld," Aziz said. "They did not fulfill their promise and whenever you want a dialogue it should be from a position of strength and not a position of weakness. I have a feeling that at least in the last seven months we have started addressing this thing, not in an ad hoc fashion like dialogue, but a very consistent policy of a counterterrorism strategy.”

A four-member Pakistani government delegation last week initiated a new round of peace talks with a group of public figures the Taliban nominated as its negotiating team.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid