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Pakistan puts its hopes on the progress of intra-Afghan dialogue

 Pakistan said on Monday that progress in the dialogue among Afghans would lead to a reduction in violence.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a telephone conversation with his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar, expressed concern about the increase in violence in Afghanistan and called for progress on the intra-Afghan talks underway in Doha.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Qureshi said that progress in the dialogue "would facilitate the reduction of violence, leading to a ceasefire."

Pakistan puts its hopes on the progress of intra-Afghan dialogue

Almost three weeks have passed since the second round of talks began in Doha, focused on setting the agenda for the negotiations, but little progress has been seen. Meanwhile, violence has increased in Afghanistan, potentially undermining the peace process.

The turtle-beat process, which began in September last year, and the accompanying violence has caused Afghans to lose hope in it. President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan officials have begun to publicly express their misgivings.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry had called a day earlier to pressure the Taliban to reduce violence.

It read: "We hope that the Pakistani government and all our international partners will compel the Taliban to recognize their commitment to reduce violence, ensure a nationwide ceasefire and sever ties with terrorist groups to create the basis for meaningful peace and a political agreement ".

The Afghan statement came after a conversation between the new US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib, in which the former hinted at reviewing the agreement signed with the Taliban in last february.

US National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne had said the new administration wanted to see if the Taliban were "fulfilling their commitments to sever ties with terrorist groups, reduce violence in Afghanistan and enter into meaningful negotiations with the government. Afghan and other stakeholders ”.

Kabul wants the Taliban to immediately agree to a ceasefire, while the Taliban fear that doing so would cause them to lose significant influence in the talks.

While he emphasized the importance of intra-Afghan negotiations, Mr. Qureshi told Mr. Atmar that the process had provided an opportunity for the return of lasting peace in Afghanistan.

Pakistan, he said, will continue to play its positive role in supporting the Afghan peace process and strengthening bilateral relations with Afghanistan.

He also spoke of business ties and told Mr. Atmar about Prime Minister Imran Khan's proposal to establish "Border Livelihood Markets" to boost local trade and economic activity in border regions.

Mr. Qureshi expressed the hope that a memorandum of understanding in this regard would be finalized soon.

He also raised the issue of Pakistani prisoners languishing in Afghan jails for minor offenses. He expressed the hope that the prisoners will be released soon according to the presidential decree, giving them the opportunity to return to Pakistan and reunite with their families, the Foreign Ministry said.

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