Trilateral moot agrees on safe passage for Taliban | Pakistan Today

Trilateral moot agrees on safe passage for Taliban

In a significant development, Pakistan, the United States and Afghanistan on Friday agreed on arranging safe passage for the Afghan Taliban insurgents, who are willing to engage in peace talks.
In this regard, the three major states in the US led anti-terrorism global campaign decided to form a group of experts, which will consider the vital proposal. The sub-group would help arrange a safe passage for the Taliban who would travel for peace talks through Pakistan, overseas and also in Afghanistan. Addressing a joint press conference with US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, and Afghan deputy foreign minister, Jawed Ludin, after the meeting of ‘trilateral core group’, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said the formation of the group exploring safe passage was a tangible accomplishment.
“An important aspect of this group will be an establishment of the subgroup on the safe passage,” he said. Ludin said, “We really welcome this initiative of the safe passage, which will mean our experts can meet and take this process further.” He said, “We need to be able to find them, those who are willing to talk wherever they are. We need to provide a safe passage and an environment where they feel safe and confident that they can engage in peace talks without any consequence.”
Grossman said, “Our shared goals are to open doors for Afghanistan to sit down with other Afghans to talk about the future of their country.”
“We have been very clear and we have been very consistent about what the necessary outcomes in such a peace process would include the Taliban and the other insurgents break their ties with al Qaeda and abide by the Afghan constitution very crucially for protection of women and minority rights,” he said.
To a question on reopening of NATO supply lines, the US official said the security of NATO supplies would be ensured whenever they got restored.
During the core group meeting Pakistan, US and Afghanistan also agreed to establish another sub group to accelerate the process of Afghan reconciliation.
This sub group will be set up at the United Nations to coordinate activities in New York and it will comprise permanent representatives of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States at the United Nations.
The core group meeting was part of efforts on part of three states to revive stalled peace talks with the Afghan Taliban and also to normalize relations between Washington and Islamabad, which they feel is vital for the success of Afghan reconciliation process.
At the talks, Grossman led the US delegation.
At the press conference, Jilani said, “We agreed that Afghanistan and the region as whole were passing through a defining moment as the country has entered the transition phase.”
“Together we reviewed developments with regard to the promotion of the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive peace and reconciliation process. We also discussed the next possible steps in this process,” he said. He said, “On behalf of the government of Pakistan, I reiterated our full support to the efforts of the Afghan government to achieve peace and stability in the country. Stability and peace in Afghanistan is a core national objective for Pakistan.”
He said, “We also discussed issues such as return of refugees, improved border management and drug-trafficking. We also exchanged views on several economic initiatives and development projects currently under consideration at the bilateral and regional levels.” Jilani said, “Pakistan has a very important role to play for the peace in Afghanistan and for this reason we are here today. We welcome the cooperation and engagement from Pakistan and Afghanistan in peace process.”
“Afghanistan’s neighbors are essential partners in supporting Afghans creating a stable and prosperous Afghanistan and a stable and prosperous region that was the major theme of the Istanbul conference last November.” Ludin said the Afghanistan peace process was very urgent and most important priority for the US among the challenges and opportunities which were evident. “Our request is to utilize whatever opportunities are available and to focus on cooperation on the process of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,” he said.

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