Amid ongoing efforts to end the violence through reconciliation by reaching a peace agreement with the Taliban, reports indicate that Islamabad is seeking the rehabilitation of the Taliban into the future political setup of Afghanistan.
In his speech at Women’s Foreign Policy Group in Washington, the Pakistani Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has said a political arrangement similar to the one considered for Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar could be considered for the Taliban as well in a bid to help achieve peace.
“There’s a precedence for this in the rehabilitation of Gulbadin Hekmatyar,” Chaudhry was quoted as sayig by Dawn News
He said the former rebel leader (Hekmatyar) was not only accommodated in the political setup in Kabul but his name was also expunged from a UN list of recognised terrorists to create space for him. “A similar arrangement can also be made with the Taliban.”
“We know a lot is going on right now … this offer … is being considered [by the Taliban]. We haven’t seen a public response [to the dialogue offer] which is interesting,” he added.
Chaudhry further added that he was aware of the efforts being made in Washington, Islamabad and Kabul to nurture these initial steps towards Taliban-Kabul reconciliation. “Chances for peace are brighter now than before. There are positive signs from all sides,” he said. “We welcome these efforts.”
This comes as the Taliban group has so far refrained to participate in direct peace talks with the Afghan government despite offers have been made to recognize the group as a political group in a bid to end the violence.