Afghan peace process: Pakistan is a facilitator, not guarantor
Pakistan played an important role in the Afghan peace process and other countries played their part too. The country has been a facilitator of the peace progress and not its guarantor, Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Major General Babar Iftikhar said Saturday.
The Afghan peace process has many aspects. "I can just say that the peace process is at a critical stage," he remarked in an exclusive interview with ARY News journalists Arshad Sharif Kashif Abbasi and Sabir Shakir. Pakistan wants to take the process forward with all "sincerity".
We have continued to strive for and will continue to do so for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
If the government isn't able to restore peace, then the reasons will be dictated by Afghan's internal dynamics. "If we think about what someone's script is, then the concept becomes a little too far-fetched," he said, adding the decision lies with Afghan nationals, and only they have the capability to sit down and take things forward.
"We need to understand that this is the Afghan nation's own decision and no one is dictating it." The people have to decide what government they want, if there is a deadlock then we can solve it but we have limitations too.
He remarked that the US has trained the Afghan National Army. They have the strength and are present on the ground. Their current strategy seems that they are more concerned about main cities right now. The ISPR DG said that the Taliban controlling over 85% of the territory seems inflated, the number would be around 45% to 50%. "There is a force on the ground and they have their own potential and strength."
He added, "as a professional soldier, I think they should have the capacity to withstand this onslaught and fight."
The US has withdrawn its forces and the process will be completed by August 31. Regional stakeholders will have to solve the issue with the Afghan leadership.
Pakistan is accused of carrying out attacks in Afghanistan. "If Pakistan is accused again, then they should see the sincerity with which we played our played in the peace process. The world has seen it."
Guns can't decide the future of Afghanistan. This is just a phase, the actual decision will be taken once all stakeholders sit together and hold negotiations. "Civil war won't be beneficial for anyone," the ISPR DG remarked.
India's sinking investment
Maj Gen Iftikhar even remarked that India's investment in Afghanistan seems to be sinking. India has tried to spread propaganda against Pakistan's role in the whole process.
He claimed that India is frustrated now because its plan has backfired. Their investment was not sincere, they just wanted to use Afghanistan to harm Pakistan.
Pakistan is being blamed for the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, but there is no truth to it, he claimed.
You can watch the entire interview here.