Karzai has promised to release all Pak prisoners: Fazl
15 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, on Monday said that Afghan President Karzai had assured him to release all the Pakistani prisoners and was keen to share governance with the Taliban after the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday along with members of his delegation who visited Afghanistan recently, Maulana Fazl said President Karzai also sought Pakistan's cooperation to promote internal reconciliation. The Maulana said he had told the Afghan president that he would talk to the Pakistan government on this vital issue.
The JUI-F chief said what they had achieved during three days could not be done by the Pakistani diplomats in eight years.He said they had reservations about the present government in Afghanistan which, he termed, pro-India while the Taliban government was pro-Pakistan.
In reply to a question, the JUI-F chief said the Taliban had not rejected his visit to Afghanistan but admitted that their sentiments were hurt. He was of the opinion that with the passage of time, the Taliban would recognise the importance of his visit. He said that for the sake of the Taliban, his party had annoyed the whole world as they were well-wishers of the Taliban and their hearts beat with them.
He said misunderstandings developed due to a lack of direct contacts with the Taliban, which could be removed with direct interaction. He said the JUI-F and Taliban had a similar stance against foreign interference in the region. He said the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan was their top demand.
Maulana Fazl supported an agreement between the countries of the region for non interference in each others' internal affairs.To a question, the JUI-F chief said only the government could play a role for reconciliation between the Afghan government and Taliban, and his party could extend whatever assistance was needed.
He said he took the prime minister into confidence before going to Afghanistan and Nawaz Sharif had supported his visit. He said the foreign secretary had briefed him about the Pakistan-Afghan relations.
To yet another question, Maulana Fazl said he had no contact with Mulla Omar after 1997 and was also not in direct contact with the Afghan Taliban. –INP Online adds: Maulana Fazl said he had always opposed the US troops in Afghanistan as the use of power would not achieve anything and would make things worse.
He said the Indian lobby got strengthened in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban government, while Pakistan failed to find space in Afghanistan even after rendering sacrifices in Jihad.
The JUI-F chief stressed that Pakistan should be given an active role in the resolution of Afghan problem."The present efforts do not appear to be deep-rooted. We must remember that Pakistan is an important player in the Afghan solution," he said.
He added that it was up to the stakeholders to define and devise Pakistan's role in the process, but it must be done. Fazl said Afghanistan was a regional problem and Pakistan, being its immediate neighbour, was the most pertinent actor in any solution.
He said the international community and the US should actively pursue internal reconciliation to bring political stability to Afghanistan "so that after 2014 US withdrawal, Afghanistan does not go back to civil war".