Awami National Party central president Asfandyar Wali Khan on Saturday said any deal between the US and Afghan Taliban without the involvement of Afghan government to end the 18 years long conflict would plunge the war-torn country into further chaos.
“Restoration of peace in Afghanistan will be out of question if the US and Afghan Taliban strike a deal and the Afghan government is kept out of it,” Asfandyar Wali told a presser here after chairing a meeting of the party’s central working committee here.
The ANP leader said Afghan president Dr Ashraf Ghani had cancelled his scheduled visit to Washington fuelling uncertainty and unrest in the region.
He said only the talks led and owned by Afghans could pave the way for durable peace in Afghanistan and that the cancellation of president Ghani’s US visit would make the situation ‘shakier’.
“Forget about peace if the Afghan government is not involved in the negotiation process on the future of Afghanistan,” he said.
Mr Asfandyar said the Afghan Taliban and Kabul were parties to the conflict and it would be very unwise to sign any peace deal without involving anyone of them.
He said his party expected that the US, China and Russia would act as guarantors to ensure implementation of all conditions for any peace deal.
The ANP leader said Pakistani parliament had passed a joint resolution calling for the Afghan- led and Afghan-owned peace deal and the government was bound to follow it.
He said the ANP’s stand on Afghan issue was very clear and that it had always supported the inclusion of Afghan government in talks as if that didn’t happen, the prospects of peace would remain dim.
Mr Asfandyar urged Pakistan and other stakeholders to expedite efforts for lasting peace in Afghanistan.
When asked whether his party will become part of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s plan to lock down Islamabad, the ANP leader said his party would abide by the decision of the joint opposition and not one party’s.
“The ANP is not bound to follow the decision of a single party regarding Islamabad lockdown and will decide own line of action on it,” he said urging the opposition parties to evolve consensus on the matter.
The JUI-F has announced Islamabad lockdown in Oct to force Prime Minister Imran Khan into stepping down.
The ANP leader also spoke about situation in the India-held Kashmir and demanded an immediate lifting of curfew in the region. He termed Indian actions in the occupied Kashmir an ‘open aggression’.
Mr Asfandyar said former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had proposed the division of Kashmir into three parts and (Prime Minister) Imran Khan had supported the idea at that time.
He accused India of violating Simla Accord and UN resolutions on Kashmir dispute.
The ANP leader asked the government to unveil details of the recent ‘agreement’ made by Prime Minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump in Washington.
“The government should not conceal details of Imran-Trump agreement if nothing is fishy,” he said. Mr Asfandyar said the government had failed on the diplomatic front and that Pakistan had lost the support of its close friend, China, which, too, had changed its stand.
He asked the government to revisit internal and external policies.
Expressing concern about the law and order situation in certain parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the ANP leader warned that militant outfits were regrouping in Buner, Swat and Waziristan districts.
He said the recent killing of four suspected militants in Peuchar area of Swat district was an eye-opener.
Mr Asfandyar said on one hand, the security agencies issued security alert to politicians and asked them to restrict movement but on the other, their security details were withdrawn.
“Aimal Wali was issued a threat alert and was asked not to offer Eid prayer,” he said.
The ANP leader said the provision of security to people was the government’s responsibility. He condemned enforced disappearance of social activists in the province.