Afghanistan Will Not Close Door on Peace: Hashemi


The Afghan government reiterated Sunday that it will not close the door on those who accept Afghanistan’s Constitution and join the peace process.

“We as a government cannot close the peace door but peace has its certain conditions,” President Ashraf Ghani’s deputy spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi said.

“We make peace with those Afghan [anti-government] groups that accept the Constitution,” he added.

These statements come after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said during his trip to Washington that action against Taliban and talks with the group can’t happen at the same time.

Sharif met with President Barack Obama last week and said in a joint statement that they would ensure that all Taliban groups, including the Haqqani Network, “are unable to operate from the soil of Pakistan”.

Both sides also agreed to take action against Lashkar-e-Taiba, which allegedly carries out attacks against India.

In addition, Sharif said Friday that Pakistan was ready to help Afghanistan revive peace talks with Taliban rebels.

Meanwhile, Mark Toner, deputy spokesman for the U.S Department of State, said in a briefing that Sharif’s “visit overall highlighted our strong and growing relationship with Pakistan and provided an opportunity to strengthen our cooperation on a range of issues.”

He also said. “You’ve [Pakistan] got Afghanistan and the Taliban’s continued presence there on one side. You do have tensions with India, and those need to be addressed.”

However, while Sharif insisted that Pakistan has no interest in backing the Taliban’s campaign of violence, he also said that Pakistan “cannot bring them to the table and be asked to kill them at the same time”.

Sharif also made clear that Pakistan’s main priority was seeking international support to compel India to negotiate over the future of the disputed province of Kashmir.

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