Saturday, September 25, 2021

Afghan Taliban delegation to arrive in Pakistan tonight: FO

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ISLAMABAD: The spokesperson of Foreign Office (FO) has said that a delegation of Afghan Taliban will arrive in Pakistan tonight, ARY News reported on Sunday.

The FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement that the Afghan Taliban delegation is visiting Pakistan over the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The visiting delegates will hold dialogues with Pakistan for making further progress in the Afghanistan peace process, he added.

In October last year, a 12-member delegation of the Afghan Taliban under the leadership of Mullah Baradar had held dialogues with the Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi after reaching the Foreign Office prior to signing a historic peace deal with the US in February 2020.

Read: Afghan ambassador meets COAS Bajwa at GHQ: ISPR

The Afghan delegation had appreciated and applauded Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region besides showing agreement with the much-needed stability and prosperity in the region. The delegation had also upheld the notion of the Afghan peace talks being restarted.

FM Qureshi, in conclusion, had said that Pakistan would continue to play a positive role in regional dynamics for stability and peace.

The United States (US) and the Afghan Taliban had signed the historic peace deal, marking an end to the 18-year-war in Afghanistan on February 29 this year.

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar had signed the agreement during a ceremony in Doha, Qatar which was witnessed by  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Qatari Emir and representatives from fifty countries.

Read: Pakistan stresses importance of peace, stability in Afghanistan for regional prosperity

Main points of the peace agreement:

  • The US will start immediate troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • All foreign troops will be withdrawn from Afghan soil.
  • US, Afghan Taliban to exchange prisoners ahead of intra-Afghan talks.
  • Intra-Afghan peace negotiation to commence from 10th of March.
  • Taliban will ensure that Afghan soil will not be used for attacks on the US and its allies.

According to a joint declaration released minutes before the deal was signed, the US and NATO troops will withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months.

The United States will reduce the number of US military forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and implement other commitments in the US-Taliban agreement within 135 days of the announcement of this joint declaration and the US-Taliban agreement.

It added that the Afghan government will engage with the United Nations Security Council to remove Taliban members from sanctions list by May 29.

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