Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Tuesday announced support for intra-Afghan dialogue in meeting with a senior visiting Afghan leader, a clear message to the Taliban to join the peace process.

 

Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, Member Afghan Parliament and Head of the Shiite ‘Hizb-e-Wahadat Mardam-e-Afghan Party’ is visiting Islamabad at the invitation of the Pakistani government in a move to increase interaction with Afghan ethnic and opposition leaders.

 

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar also met the Afghan leader and told him that Pakistan wanted to have close relations with all ethnic and political groups of Afghanistan including Hizb-e-Wahdat.

 

It is widely believed that Pakistan as its old policy supports ethnic Pashtoons in Afghanistan. However, Pakistan is now also pursuing the policy to improve relations with non-Pashtoon community in Afghanistan.

 

Islamabad’s efforts to encourage the Taliban, mainly Pashtoon, to enter the intra-Afghan dialogue, has not yet been successful as the Taliban say they would not hold talks with the Karzai administration as ‘it is powerless’.

 

Prime Minister Ashraf told the Afghan leader that Pakistan is desirous of friendly relations with all ethnic and political groups in the neighbouring country.

 

“Pakistan would extend its full support to an intra-Afghan dialogue among all segments of society for the peace and security of Afghanistan,” an official statement quoted Mr Ashraf as telling Mohaqqiq.

 

The Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s firm resolve for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan and assured the delegation of all possible support, adding stability in Afghanistan is essential for stability in Pakistan.

 

Talking about the recent tragic incident in Quetta involving the Hazara Community, the Prime Minister said that government has ordered a targeted operation against elements responsible for killing innocent civilians. He expressed the resolve of the government to fight this menace till they are completely wiped out. He said that they are enemies of mankind.

 

Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq agreed with the Prime Minister to work jointly to defeat the forces of terrorism and militancy, the statement said.

 

He expressed condolences on the death of those who passed away in the tragic incident in the Pakistani southwestern city Quetta.

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