Afghanistan celebrates Eid al-Adha holiday amid calls for peace

Topeka Capital Journal opinion page editor Matt Johnson

The United States is withholding a $255 million military aid payment from Pakistan until it cracks down on what President Donald Trump has called "safe havens" for anti- Afghanistan militant groups, officials said.

No doubt, the United States took considerable time in finalizing and fine-tuning its Afghanistan and South Asia strategy, which means that there was little scope for any major departure from what Washington intends to pursue. Again, it was also a good thing to hear from the Ambassador that the additional troops for Afghanistan would have the role of trainer for Afghan forces and that action would be taken against all terrorist organizations including TTP that is using Afghan territory for terrorist activities in Pakistan.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said he had signed deployment orders for some of the American reinforcements that are to be sent to Afghanistan. Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. The two countries have a long-running border dispute, leading to skirmishes between their armies. Known as the Durand Line, Afghanistan refuses to accept it as the worldwide border.

Last month, Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed upon the need to restore mutual trust following persistent rift between the two neighbours.

On Sunday, Pakistan's foreign office announced that it had postponed a visit by a US acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells to discuss Washington's new Afghan policy, but at the time did not provide a reason.

According to the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), a wide range of issues, including the Afghan peace process, security along the Durand Line and bilateral trade were discussed.

"As a result of our successful foreign policy, we have reached the point where the hopes of the past 40 years will be realised", added the Afghan President.

Earlier Ghani in his Eid address at the president house on Friday said, "We want peace which is based on unanimous political views".

"The anti-government armed groups should choose".

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