Iran has decisive role in Afghan peace process: Khalili

Chairman of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami of Afghanistan Karim Khalili said the Islamic Republic of Iran was a powerful player in the region and a longtime neighbor of Afghanistan and that Kabul considers Tehran’s role in the Afghan peace process important and decisive.

Speaking to IRNA on the sidelines of a public discussion organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Wednesday, during his visit to Pakistan, Khalili stressed the importance of cooperation between Kabul and Tehran to contribute to peace and security in the region.

He said Iran is an important and long-standing neighbor of Afghanistan. “We consider Iran as one of the powerful countries in the region, which plays a pivotal role in maintaining peace in the region as well as contributing to the Afghan peace process,” Khalili said.

He told IRNA that Iran’s role is very effective in managing regional issues and certainly Afghanistan is a partner in all situations, especially in matters of peace development.

Khalili said: “We hope for the role of the Islamic Republic of Iran in helping peace in Afghanistan”.

He also said the extremist elements, including the terrorist group ISIS (Daesh), are trying to create a challenge for Afghanistan and the peace process.

Karim Khalili said ISIS has no popular and social base in Afghanistan and with the successful conclusion of peace talks between the government and Kabul, the problem of ISIS will also disappear.

During his talk itself, at the ISSI, Khalili, who is on a three day visit to the country, said: “Peace in Afghanistan will create a situation that will benefit all countries, especially the region and our neighbours. With such peace, new horizons for progress and development will emerge in the region.”

Khalili said that peace is a multidimensional phenomenon which has multifaceted effects in different dimensions of human social life and societies.

He stated that, when one talks about peace, in addition to the political dimension, one must also consider its cultural, economic and social dimensions.

He went on to say that when a peace agreement upholds human rights’ values, such as women’s rights, minority rights, non-discrimination, and many other issues, all nations and peoples of the world are motivated to support it.

Conversely, if these global standards are not taken into account, such peace will not go anywhere and conflicts will continue, he said adding that the people of Afghanistan need cooperation and joint efforts from all countries, especially the region.
Speaking about Pakistan’s role in the process, he said the goal is to win Pakistan Government’s support for a peace that can address regional issues and benefit all its foreign friends.

During his three-day visit to Pakistan, Chairman of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami of Afghanistan met with the Prime Minister, Army Chief, Speaker of Parliament and some political and religious figures of the country.