Pakistan, US, China, Russia for end to cross-border violence from Afghanistan

Pakistan, United States, China and Russia have jointly urged the Afghanistan government and the Taliban to ensure that its soil is not used by terrorist groups or individuals to threaten the security of any other country, Dawn reported

May 02, 2021
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Pakistan, United States, China and Russia have jointly urged the Afghanistan government and the Taliban to ensure that its soil is not used by terrorist groups or individuals to threaten the security of any other country, Dawn reported.

The four nations — known as the Extended Troika on Peaceful Settlement in Afghanistan — called upon the Afghan government to engage openly with their Taliban counterparts.

They also want the UN Security Council (UNSC) to review the designations of Taliban individuals and entities.

“We call on all Afghans including the government of the Islamic Republic and the Taliban to ensure that terrorist groups and individuals do not use Afghan soil to threaten the security of any other country,” they said in a joint statement issued in Washington, the Dawn report said.

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a UN-designated terrorist group, has extensively used Afghan soil for launching attacks into Pakistan, including the 2014 Peshawar Army Public School massacre.

TTP militants, who came from Afghanistan, killed 150 people, including 134 students, in the attack. Pakistan has long urged Afghanistan to stop such cross-border attacks.

In the joint statement, the Troika urged “the government of the Islamic Republic and the High Council for National Reconciliation to engage openly with their Taliban counterparts regarding a negotiated settlement”, adding that “we do not support the establishment in Afghanistan of any government imposed by force.”

The Troika also tried to create space for Taliban leaders to join the Afghan government by asking the United Nations to reconsider their designation as terrorists.

“We support a review of the status of designations of Taliban individuals and entities on the UN 1988 sanctions,” they said in the statement, adding that practical measures to reduce violence and sustained efforts to advance intra-Afghan negotiations by the Taliban “will positively affect this review process”.

The statement followed an April 30 meeting in Doha, Qatar, to discuss ways to back intra-Afghan negotiations and help the parties reach a negotiated settlement and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.

The extended “Troika” also met the Afghan government and Taliban representatives in Doha and reviewed the outcomes of previous “Troika” meetings with them.

The participants reiterated that there is no military solution in Afghanistan and a negotiated political settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process was the only way forward for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

They took note of the April 14 announcement by the United States and Nato that US/Nato forces will begin a responsible withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, which will conclude by September 11, 2021.

They reiterated that the withdrawal of foreign troops should ensure a steady transition of the situation in Afghanistan and said the peace process should not be disturbed in the withdrawal period.

They urged the Taliban to fulfill its counter-terrorism commitments, including preventing terrorist groups and individuals from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of any other country. The Taliban were also asked not to host these groups and stop them from recruiting, training, and fundraising.

They reiterated the need for all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to reduce the level of violence in the country and for the Taliban not to pursue a Spring offensive.

The troika noted Turkey’s preparations to host a conference of senior leaders of both Afghan parties to accelerate the intra-Afghan negotiations and welcomed the United Nations and Qatar’s roles as co-conveners of this dialogue.

The troika urged the negotiating parties to make progress towards an inclusive political settlement and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and welcomed an expanded role for the United Nations in contributing to the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The Troika reaffirmed that any peace agreement must include protections for the rights of all Afghans, including women, men, children, victims of war and minorities.

(SAM)

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