by Tahir Khan
The Express Tribune News Network
& The International New York Times
August 19, 2015
ISLAMABAD: Afghan Ambassador to Islamabad Janan Mosazai has said his country considers Pakistan’s role “essential” in the reconciliation process with the Afghan Taliban.
“Given the nature of the reality we are facing, the role of our neighbours, primarily the role of our brothers and sisters here in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, continues to be essential for our ultimate common success in this regard,” Ambassador Mosazai said in Islamabad.
The statement comes amidst a stalemate in the Pakistan-brokered talks between the Afghan government and Taliban, and rising diplomatic tension between the two neighbours following a series of deadly attacks in Afghanistan.
Referring to the Afghan Taliban as armed opposition, the envoy said his government has created a strong national consensus among all political forces for negotiations and reconciliation with the Taliban.
Commenting on Pak-Afghan relations, Mosazai said there is a consensus between the two countries that “if there is no peace in Afghanistan, there will neither be peace in Pakistan nor in much of the rest of the region.”
“We have been fighting this senseless imposed war not just for ourselves but also on behalf of the entire region,” he added. Further, he called for the unified efforts of the entire region not only to put an end to the ongoing war but also to counter the growing threat of Daesh (Islamic State).
While referring to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Islamabad in November last year, the ambassador said the visit was a bold, conscious approach to open not just a new chapter but a new book in the bilateral relationship, based on non-interference, mutual respect and shared interests.
“We have more than enough core interests in common — from a common fight against terrorism and extremism, to deeper win-win economic integration and closer people-to-people ties.”
Regarding the economic integration of the two countries, Mosazai informed the gathering that both countries have made tremendous progress in two projects which have the potential to transform the entire region, namely CASA-1000 and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.