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Killers Of Countless Innocent Civilians Staying As State Guests In Pakistan

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The Afghan Taliban are currently in Pakistan to meet the Pakistani leadership and discuss the suspended peace talks between them and the US. US President Donald Trump had suspended the peace talks last month after a blast in Kabul ahead of the general elections in the country. The US government’s decision indicated the country’s plans to speed up the process of its exit from Afghanistan.

The “high-level” delegation of Afghan Taliban visiting Pakistan comprise senior Taliban leaders including Mullah Baradar, who was kept imprisoned by Pakistan leadership for six years. While Pakistan’s facilitation of the Afghan peace process is unavoidable, the sight of Taliban commanders being welcomed and greeted by Pakistan’s state officials is not too pleasing.

The pictures of our foreign minister hugging the Taliban leaders, released shortly after the meeting, made me sick to the stomach.

The statement released by the Foreign Office quoted the foreign minister as saying, “While the people of both Afghanistan and Pakistan have a shared history, geography and culture, Islam remains the strongest bond between the two brotherly countries.”

Does the FM realise that Taliban’s version of Islam has led to the killing of several innocent people, destroying the lives of many others?

How can the crimes of Taliban of killing countless civilians, persecuting women and minorities, be forgotten? The way they are being welcomed in Pakistan appears to be an insult to the blood of countless civilians who lost their lives to the violence unleashed by the Afghan Taliban over the years.

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Foreign Minister Shah Memood Qureshi welcomed the Taliban delegation and spoke about the importance of Pakistan-Afghanistan ties, while forgetting their role in the bloodshed that continues to claim innocent lives. On one hand it is said that the dialogue with Taliban will ensure an end to the violence in Afghanistan and will also bring stability to Pakistan, and on the other hand, Taliban continue to engage in violence.

This reminds me of Habib Jalib’s famous couplet, “Zulm rahay aur aman bhi ho, Kya mumkin hai? Tum he kaho.”

Three blasts that took place in Afghanistan in the month of September killed 78 people and injured several others. The peace talks have not brought an end to the violence in the conflict-ridden country.

Pakistan’s participation in the peace process was needed, but the Afghan Taliban should not have been received by the Foreign Minister himself. Our role should’ve been limited to restoring and facilitating the talks.

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