China seeks to mediate between Pakistan, Afghanistan to improve strained ties
Ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan have soured with in recent months. Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of sheltering Afghan Taliban militants on its soil. Pakistan officially denies the claims.Updated: Jun 14, 2017 22:28 IST
China has offered to mediate between Pakistan and Afghanistan and help organise a meeting so that the two countries can improve their relations, President Ashraf Ghanis office said in a statement on Tuesday.
China’s foreign minister Wang Yi is scheduled to visit Kabul where he will meet Afghan officials and will work to discuss the possibility of organising a meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and China, the statement said.
The statement was issued after Ghani held a meeting with women’s rights activists, who raised concern over the security situation in the country, Tolo News reported.
“It is the first time that China wants to be a mediator in Afghanistan’s peace process. Peace with Pakistan was our demand and this must be solved between government-and-government,” Ghani said at the meeting.
Pakistan’s ties with Afghanistan were severed when a deadly blast in Kabul on May 31 killed 150 people, making it one of the deadliest attacks in the Afghan capital since the ouster of the Taliban in 2001.
No group claimed responsibly for the attack but the Afghan government blamed the Haqqani network and Pakistan’s ISI for it.
President’s deputy spokesman Najibullah Azad said: “This time the quadrilateral meeting which will be held between Afghanistan, Pakistan, US and China would be different compared to past meetings.”
At this meeting, Pakistan must support Afghanistan’s policy over fighting insurgency, he said.
Azad said that Kabul had gathered evidence that Pakistan is supporting insurgency and had shared this with NATO, the US Congress and other organisations.
“When needed, the evidence will also be provided to the UN,” he said.