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Pakistan says Afghan peace process face many challenges

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

ISLAMABAD, July 11, IRNA -- Pakistan admitted on Thursday that Afghan reconciliation process face many challenges but all sides will have to show patience to achieve the goal of elusive peace.

The comments came days after the Afghan Taliban temporarily closed their office in Qatar, dashing hopes for beginning of the long-awaited process.

“Pakistan is of the view that reconciliation is the only way forward for bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chuadhry said.

Responding to the queries of media persons at this weekly news briefing in Islamabad about the reported closure of Taliban office in Doha‚ the Foreign Office Spokesperson said there are many challenges in the reconciliation process and Pakistan has always called for patience and perseverance to settle the Afghan issue.

The Taliban office was closed after President Hamid Karzai objected at the Taliban white flag and their plaque of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” the name they had used during their 1996-2001 rule.

Karzai and his aides had termed the Taliban office as a parallel government. The Qatari authorities later removed the Taliban flag and the plaque.

“All stakeholders should be engaged for the positive outcome of the reconciliation process,” Chaudhry said.

On the recent spate of allegations leveled by Afghan authorities against Pakistan‚ the spokesperson said Pakistan does not want to raise the temperature and want peaceful relations with the neighboring country.

“We want to see a united‚ peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan and hoped that our sincerity will be reciprocated.”

On relations with India‚ the spokesperson said the present government has given a clear signal for improved relations with New Delhi. Emphasizing the need for resumption of composite dialogue process‚ he said the prime minister will visit the United Nations General Assembly and in case the Indian prime minister is there‚ “we will try to engage at the leadership level.”

About Pakistani prisoners languishing in Indian jails‚ the spokesperson said both the countries exchanged lists of prisoners on the first day of this month.” We have called upon the Indian government to release those prisoners who have completed their due process.”

On the situation in Egypt‚ Aizaz Chaudhry said Pakistan has fraternal relations with the country. He said Pakistan being saddened over the recent happenings there has stressed the need for respect of values of democracy. He hoped the people and government of Egypt will be able to handle the issue in a democratic manner. He said our mission is in close contact with the Pakistanis there.

When asked about Pakistan-China civil nuclear cooperation‚ Aizaz Ahmad said this is an on-going cooperation and the two countries are collaborating in this sphere under the IAEA safeguards.

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