KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s special envoy to Pakistan Mohammad Omar Daudzai has said that a recent statement by Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar in which he said that the Taliban can never return to power. The first is a statement we appreciate. I am gradually seeing a positive attitude from both the civilians and the military of Pakistan.
In an exclusive interview with British media on the one-year anniversary of the Qatar Accord, he quoted a recent statement by Major General Babar Iftikhar, Director General (DG) of the Pakistan Army’s Public Relations (ISPR) We had heard such statements from civilians in the past, but the statement of Army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar is new to us. We commend them for this statement. We are confident that this will strengthen the confidence building process that has begun.
During the interview, when asked if the statement would not discourage the Taliban or the desire to continue negotiations? Responding to this, Daudzai said that the Taliban’s morale had been strengthened in the last few months due to the Qatar agreement and diplomatic influence. They are winning the whole cake. I think such statements will bring them back to the real world. The reality is something else.
Recognizing the Taliban’s status for the first time, Afghanistan’s special envoy to Afghanistan said that people do not want the Taliban to end. They don’t want that but no one in the world is in favor of giving them all the cakes. No one wants their return to the Islamic Emirate. Now such a statement by the army of a close neighbor has far-reaching consequences for the Taliban’s attitude towards peace.
In an interview, he acknowledged that Pakistan’s Afghan policy is changing. We have seen this change. Since I have been the Special Representative for five or six months, I have seen a gradual, positive response from both the Pakistani military and civilian.
Daudzai said no American had been killed in the past year, but that tens of thousands of Afghans, whether they were Afghan soldiers, civilians, intellectuals or the young educated generation, had suffered more. We are concerned, so our priority is to find a way to end this war.
Daudzai said it was important for the Taliban to be in a stable mood, adding that the stalemate in talks between the two sides was due to months of travel between Korona and Taliban leaders. We hope and wish that he would be more consistent as he was consistent in his negotiations with the Americans. They were constantly talking and pressuring him to come to a conclusion. We hope that the Taliban will adopt the same attitude. The government’s negotiating team is permanently in Doha. The Taliban should also be in a constant mood.
Asked again if any progress was being made in Qatar, he said the expectation of results was a bit premature and said, “We have just started meeting. They agreed that the meetings of the contact groups should continue. I have heard that when the real negotiations begin, they are on a permanent basis and fast. We hope to see results tomorrow, but this is a complex 40-year-old issue.
Asked what he expects more from Pakistan during the interview, Daudzai said he was “satisfied” at the moment but there was always room for improvement. When Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Afghanistan in November, he assured that he would do everything in his power to end the war.
Imran Khan asked, “Tell me more can be done.” If we can’t, we’ll tell, but we’ll do what we can. Since then, we have drawn up a roadmap under my leadership and under the direction of President Ghani.