Pakistan Hopes to Put an End to Afghan Violence

On Thursday, Pakistan urged all the sides present in Afghanistan, to make efforts to reduce violence in the war-torn country. This will lead to a ceasefire and consequently, establish peace. However, the NATO chief made it abundantly clear that international forces do not plan on leaving the country in the upcoming summer. 

A spokesperson belonging to the Foreign Office reiterated that Pakistan has been constantly trying to ensure that all sides drop their weapons to ensure a ceasefire. These efforts are directly linked to making progress when it comes to Intra-Afghan Negotiations.

Zahid Hafiz Chaudhri released a statement soon after defense ministers of the NATO met to talk about whether they should withdraw from Afghanistan or not. This withdrawal will be a part of the US-Taliban deal, which was inked on the 29th of February last year in the Qatari capital. 

As per the Doha accord, international forces, as well as the US, are supposed to withdraw all their troops from Afghanistan by the month of May of this year. However, ever since Joe Biden came into office as the President of the United States, the chances of the US-led foreign sources holding up their end of the deal are slim. 

Where the Biden administration is currently seeking to undertake a review of the deal, Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO, said that the North Atlantic military alliance will leave Afghanistan, only when the security conditions allow that to happen. 

Along with 2,500 US troops, NATO has nearly 10,000 deployed in the war-torn country of Afghanistan. 

Stoltenberg said that presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan is based on conditions, which the Taliban has not yet met. He was chairing a meeting consisting of various defense ministers of the alliance, when he stated that he is waiting on the country to make good on its commitments. The meeting also included Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary of the US. 

The Secretary-General pointed out that the main issue is of the Taliban reducing violence. According to him, they have to negotiate in good faith and agree to stop supporting different international terrorist groups, such as Al-Qaeda. 

Stoltenberg added that they will leave Afghanistan only when the time is right. For now, he pointed out, NATO is focusing on how to support peace talks while referring to the slow-paced negotiations between the Kabul government and Taliban. These particular negotiations began in the year 2020 in Qatar. 

However, the Taliban have made it clear that they do not want US-led foreign forces to extend their stay in the country. The insurgent group tried to convince them, saying that it is fully committed to the promises made in the Doha deal. The group also informed that they have been taking several steps to ensure that they hold up their end of the agreement. 

The Taliban warned that if the US did not withdraw its troops as per the deal made, they may possibly launch another attack against the foreign forces.