World, Asia - Pacific

Pakistan welcomes US, Taliban peace deal

India says it will continue to extend 'all support' to Afghanistan

Islamuddin Sajid   | 29.02.2020
Pakistan welcomes US, Taliban peace deal


Pakistan on Saturday welcomed the signing of the U.S.-Taliban peace deal aimed at ending the 18-year-long war in Afghanistan.

The U.S. inked a landmark deal with the Taliban earlier in the day in Doha, Qatar, laying out a timetable for a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within 14 months.

The agreement is expected to lead to dialogue between the Taliban and the Kabul government, seeking an end to the armed conflict that began in 2001.

In a statement, Pakistan's premier Imran Khan termed the accord "start of a peace & reconciliation process to end decades of war & suffering of the Afghan people."

"I have always maintained that a political solution, no matter how complex, is the only meaningful path to peace," Khan tweeted.

Without naming any country or group, Khan urged all stakeholders to ensure "spoilers are kept at bay."

"My prayers for peace for the Afghan people who have suffered 4 decades of bloodshed. Pakistan is committed to playing its role in ensuring the agreement holds & succeeds in bringing peace to Afghanistan," Khan added.

Pakistan was represented in the ceremony by the country's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Qureshi said the agreement carried immense importance -- both in symbolism and substance -- for Afghanistan, the region and beyond.

"The Peace Agreement reflected a significant step forward by the U.S. and the Taliban in advancing the ultimate aim of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan," he said in a statement.

India's response

New Delhi, in a brief response to the pact, said it will continue extending "all support" to Afghanistan.

"India's consistent policy is to support all opportunities that can bring peace, security and stability in Afghanistan; end violence; cut ties with international terrorism; and lead to a lasting political settlement through an Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled process," Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs was quoted as saying.

Kumar said his country will continue to extend all support to the government and people of Afghanistan in "realizing their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future where the interest of all sections of Afghan society are protected."

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