MONITORING (SW) – A number of seasoned Afghan politicians attended a peace conference in Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday.
Among those attending this moot included Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Karim Khalili, Hamid Gillani, Abdul Lateef Pidram and others.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan wants to see a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan while establishing smooth relations with its neighbors. Addressing the inaugural session of the conference on Afghan peace titled ‘Lahore Process’ in Bhurban, he added that advancing the cause of peace and stability in Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s own national interest.
In a statement, Haneef Atmar said he backs genuine efforts for peace and hopes Pakistan would support intra-Afghan talks for peace.
The Hezb-e-Islami chief, Hekmatyar, said talks between the U.S. and the Taliban alone cannot help bring peace. He said the Afghans can resolve these issues among themselves.
Meanwhile, former president Hamid Karzai's office in a statement said that Karzai will not attend the meeting in Pakistan due to a limited time for preparations.
Last month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani vowed to open new 'historic chapter' of ties with Pakistan in his forthcoming trip to Islamabad.