Islamabad, Kabul meet to discuss peace talks with Taliban

Head of Pakistani Army visits Afghan President for revival of new peace talks with Taliban

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 7, 2015

General Raheel Sharif, the head of Pakistani Army, visited Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on Sunday to discuss the new peace talks with Taliban.

Ghani’s office in a statement said that they agreed to “continue the peace process with groups of Taliban that are ready for negotiation” and fight “against those groups that resort to terrorist actions."

Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United States and China will meet in January to prepare for peace talks with Taliban.

"Both sides agreed that the first round of dialogue between Afghanistan, Pakistan, US and China will be held in January to layout a comprehensive roadmap for peace," the statement said.

General Sharif was in Washington last month where President Barack Obama and other officials pushed for a return to talks with the Taliban.

The peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban took place in Pakistan in July, but talks stopped after it was revealed that the long time leader of Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar has been dead for two years.

Many Afghans including Ghani's political opponents blame Pakistan for backing Taliban,  Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif denies the claims over supporting the terrorist organisation in their fight with the Afghan government and also said that Pakistan wants peaceful relations with its neighbours.

The visit followed two meetings between Ghani and Sharif over the recent weeks which have sought to pave the way for an Islamabad-brokered peace process.

In spite of the optimistic notes after the meeting, analysts caution that any substantive talks are still a long way off.Heart of Asia conference taking place in Islamabad

TRTWorld and agencies