Report of Public Talk on “Pak-Afghan Relations”

The Institute of Strategic Islamabad (ISSI) organised a Public Talk under the ―Ambassador‘s Platform‖ forum on ―Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations‖ on January 13, 2016. The distinguished speaker on the occasion was H.E Janan Mosazai, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Ambassador Masood Khan, Director General ISSI, in his welcome remarks highlighted that Pakistan and Afghanistan are bound by the ties of geography, history, ethnicity, and religion. The two countries share similar paths and their destinies are interlocked, which is why they need to work on a common strategy for peace and harmony and banish terrorism and violent extremism from the region. He underlined the fact that in the past three decades, both Pakistan and Afghanistan have fought wars for just causes and explored peace and stability for the region. He went on to highlight how the two countries have restarted their joint quest for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process – the Quadrilateral Coordination Group Dialogue. He stated that in this ―quad‖, Afghanistan is the key actor, while the other three countries – Pakistan, China and the US – are playing a supportive, facilitative role. He also laid emphasis on the fact that direct talks without any preconditions and red lines were vital in order for the peace process to move forward. The key challenge was to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. This, he said, should be done through incentivisation‘ rather than coercion. All forms of violence need to be renounced in the quest for peace. Representatives of both groups – the Afghan Government and the Taliban – have to sit across the table to bring about unity within Afghanistan. A collective realistic, flexible and pragmatic approach needs to be exercised.

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