Pakistan on Tuesday was invited by Qatar to attend the signing of the iconic peace deal between the US and Afghan Taliban in Doha on Saturday. The deal if signed might end the 18-year-old bloody war in Afghanistan. Qatar's ambassador to Pakistan Saqr bin Mubarak, on behalf of the Qatari Foreign Minister, extended an invitation to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
The Foreign Minister of Pakistan welcoming the peace deal between the Taliban and the US said that Islamabad had always held the view that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict. He said Pakistan and Qatar have played a "pivotal role" in furthering the Afghan reconciliation process. Qureshi also expressed the confidence that the peace deal will lead to intra-Afghan dialogue.
The longest conflict of the United States killed over 2,400 American soldiers since late 2001, then the country invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 terror attack on the Twin Towers, calling it a war on terror. The US currently has less than 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, but military officials would not confirm the exact number. The United States invaded Afghanistan with the motive to dismantle Al Qaeda, which sought safe heaven in the country, by removing the Afghan Taliban from power.
Taking credit for the imminent peace deal between the United States and Afghan Taliban, Pakistan Foreign Minister boasted of the country's role in the negotiations on February 22. Pakistan's statement comes after a week-long "reduction in violence" between the two parties came into force on Friday The Pakistani Foreign Minister said that his country has fulfilled all the promises made to the US by playing its role in the 'successful' negotiations. A successful peace deal between the Taliban and the US will lead to the pullout of American troops from Afghanistan, bring the 18-year-old war to an end.
Islamabad has always welcomed the peace deal between the Taliban-US. With close proximity of the state with the Taliban, Pakistan, in tune with the armed group, has always attempted to weaken the democratic government in Kabul. However, Pakistan's foreign policy in Afghanistan has also kept India in mind. Islamabad's Afghan policy has been motivated to counter New Delhi's influence in Afghanistan, considering India's backing for the government of the country, which ignited the hope of democratic normalcy in the war-torn country.
(With PTI inputs)