Ready to start new chapter in relations with Pakistan: Ashraf Ghani

KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani, while addressing the Secod Kabul Process meeting has said that Afghanistan is ready to hold talks with Pakistan to open a new chapter in the relations of the both the countries after forgetting the past, local broadcaster Tolo News quoted  as saying on Wednesday. The Second Kabul Process meeting  was aimed at building a platform for peace talks.

According to Tolo News, President Ghani called on Pakistan to hold government to government talks, adding that  “We will be ready to start talks with Pakistan and forget the past and start a new chapter.”

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group, as part of a proposed political process that could lead to peace talks aimed at ending more than 16 years of war. He proposed a ceasefire and a release of prisoners, saying he would be ready to accept a review of the constitution as part of a pact with the Taliban.

The Taliban urged the United States on Monday to begin talks to end almost 17 years of war in Afghanistan, adding to a series of signals that suggest a greater willingness to explore options for dialogue. In its statement, two days before the start of a meeting of regional leaders in Kabul to discuss ways of ending the war, the movement said it wanted a peaceful resolution.

“The Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on American officials to talk directly to the Political Office of Islamic Emirate regarding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary,” it said. “It would help in finding a solution if America accepts the legitimate demands of the Afghan people and [puts] forward its own concerns and requests for discussion to the Islamic Emirate through a peaceful channel,” it said.

The statement referred to reported comments by Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, that the “door is open” for talks with the Taliban.


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