Speakers see Afghanistan’s peace process, a way forward

PESHAWAR: The speakers at an in-house discussion on “The prospects of Peace in Afghanistan and the role of Pakistan and other regional partners” Monday noted that the peace talks was the only way forward for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as in the region.

The seminar was held here at Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar Monday wherein former ambassador of Pakistan in Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand, General Asad Durrani, Prof Azmat Hayat Khan, Brig Saad, Prof Adnan Sarwar, Prof Hussain Shaheed Soharwardi and Prof Shabir Ahmad Khan participated.

Rustam Shah Momand said that the continuous war and instability had been resulting in the loss of several precious lives in Afghanistan, while drug addiction and poverty multiplied the issues in the country.

He said the Taliban have been entirely changed now and they are seeking extra-regional financial and diplomatic support for peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan and therefore have been more accommodating.

He said China will play a dominant role in peace and development of Afghanistan, adding that China was desperate for peace in Afghanistan to further its regional global integration. Afghanistan will need to work closely with China for its socio-economic development, he remarked.

General Asad Durrani said that Taliban are capable of bringing peace to Afghanistan and suggested the idea of interim setup as a way forward.

Prof Azmat Hayat Khan said that the conditions in Afghanistan were going from bad to worse and the situation could only be improved if the Taliban were engaged in forming an interim setup.

He said Afghanistan was dependent on Pakistan in almost all walks of life, even Afghans were getting the best medical facilities in Peshawar.

Prof Shabir Ahmad Khan, Director Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar said that working towards peace and development of Afghanistan was a shared regional responsibility and the immediate neighbours of Afghanistan should have to make coordinated efforts to help Afghan peace process.

He said Afghans throughout their history had sought foreign assistance to resolve their internal issues and therefore the peace implementation needed to be mediated and supervised regionally.