Pakistan needs circumspect role in Afghan peace process: Former Amb Riaz
ISLAMABAD: Former Ambassador Riaz Mohammad Khan Wednesday said that Pakistan needed to be circumspect in playing its role in Afghan peace process as it was daunting and challenging task to bring stability and end violence in Afghanistan.
Addressing a symposium on ‘Intra-Afghan Dialogue ; A New Hope’ organized by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) here, he said Pakistan should be prudent in its policy decisions while dealing with Afghan dialogue process and avoid unnecessary drum beating of the agreement between Taliban and the Afghan government.
Riaz said Afghan dialogue matter with its substance where contributions, power sharing, local control of territory and structure of Afghan Army relied on US funding.
“The Afghan Army is not a professional Army like Pakistan Army as the force ethnically dominated by Tajiks cannot operate in Pashtun dominated area,” he pointed out.
There were many challenges in resolving the Afghan crisis post US withdrawal from the region as affections within the factions of Afghan government and that of Taliban which failed to provide a clear leadership in the process, he added.
“Pakistan has crucial role in Afghan peace process due to its geographical positions and population overlap which should be tackled smartly as nothing can offset this advantage of Pakistan”, he added
Ambassador (R) Riaz noted that the US and Russia could help peace process if a powerful national coalition had emerged in Afghanistan which had not come up yet.
Former Ambassador to Afghanistan Ibrar Hussain said Iran and Russia were also among the major stakeholders in the peace process where both the parties had serious reservations on the peace process.
“Iran due to its association with Northern Alliance and Taliban’s adversary due to ethnic and religious differences has its concerns on the rise of Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan,” he added.
Russia, he said had concerns over increase in terrorism due to intelligence reports of Daesh and other terrorist outfits in the region.
Former Ambassador to Afghanistan Ayaz Wazir said there was mistrust between Afghan government and Taliban which should be reduced to make the peace deal successful which at present appeared as without any logical conclusion.
He added that after consensus whatever government came into power in Kabul would have no option but to have friendly ties with Islamabad.
President IPRI, Vice Admiral (R) Khan Hasham Bin Saddique highlighted the takeaways of the discussion and said Pakistan should be vigilant in playing its role in Afghan dialogue whereas a proper roadmap for the process was necessary.
He pointed out that economic integration, global partners’ incorporation was significant for the successful revival of peace and stability in the region. – APP