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Pakistan urges Afghan Taliban to resume peace talks 

Islamabad, Sep 17 (IANS) Pakistan on Thursday pushed the Afghan Taliban to return to the negotiations table weeks after the direct talks between the representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban were postponed due to Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s confirmed death.

Pakistan hosted the first round of the Afghan peace talks near the capital Islamabad on July 7 and the second round was scheduled to take place on July 31.

But the talks were postponed at the Taliban’s request as they were been focusing on leadership transition after Mullah Omar’s death.

Diplomatic efforts by Pakistan, neighbouring countries and other major players are now under way to revive the talks.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Qazi Khalilullah on Thursday said his country was ready to help with the revival of the Afghan peace process.

“Pakistan supports Afghan reconciliation process and hopes Afghan Taliban will renounce violence and return to the negotiating table,” Khalilullah said at his weekly briefing in Islamabad.

The spokesman said Pakistan and Afghanistan were discussing measures to keep the border peaceful.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have nearly 2,600-km common border, most of which is considered porous. Militants routinely take advantage of the rugged mountains for their cross-border movement.

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