A key Pakistani politician has cast doubts on the signing of peace deal between the United States and Taliban group in Afghanistan to end the nearly two-decade war in the country.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has expressed concerns regarding the outcome of the deal in the absence of a major stakeholder, the Afghan government.
“Only an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process can ensure a lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region. And the PPP doubts that a process launched without taking onboard the Afghan citizens, women and parliamentarians who have been running the country and encountering terrorism,” Zardari said.
Zardari made the remarks at a Meet the Press programme at the Lahore Press Club on Monday, according to Dawn News.
He also added “If the negotiation process is based on peace that benefits ordinary Afghan men and women and ensures their economic and social rights, then it will definitely lead to a democratic solution to the decades-long dispute in the country.”
However, he said “But, if the process starts with a tweet of the US president in a manner that Afghan government is kept out of the loop and a direct conversation between the US government and the Taliban begins, then I doubt its success.”
The U.S. and Taliban representatives signed a peace deal last week following a week-long reduction in violence which was achieved after almost 18 months of negotiations in Qatari capital of Doha.
The deal was signed with an hope to find a negotiated political settlement with the launch of intra-Afghan talks remaining high on agenda.
However, the two sides concluded the deal at a time when tensions remain high on political level, following the announcement of the final results of presidential elections.
Meanwhile, informed sources say the U.S. envoy for Afghan peace is expected to meet Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to help resolve the issues surrounding the introduction of the negotiating team for the intra-Afghan talks.