Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, during a meeting with the leader of Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan on Monday, cautioned him about the role of ‘spoilers’ both within and outside, and urged the Afghan official to remain ‘vigilant’. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, along with a delegation, arrived in Islamabad earlier in the day as part of ongoing efforts, seeking an end to the lingering unrest in Afghanistan. Qureshi said Pakistan is sincerely playing a facilitator’s role in the Afghan peace process and will continue to do so in future. He said peace and stability in the region was linked to the lasting peace in Afghanistan. He mentioned that Prime Minister Imran Khan had clearly stated that political instead of a military solution was the only way forward towards sustainable peace of Afghanistan. The foreign minister said the Afghan leadership had a rare opportunity to restore peace in their country. Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq were also present in the meeting. Later, the two sides held delegation-level talks. Qureshi welcomed the delegation and underscored the historic ties of amity and brotherhood between the two countries. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to further strengthen the close fraternal relations with Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan facilitated the process that culminated in the US-Taliban Peace Agreement in Doha on February 29, 2020, and supported the commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations. The foreign minister stressed the importance of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. He underscored that all parties must honour their respective commitments and work for reduction in the violence leading to ceasefire. “The Afghan leaders must seize this historic opportunity to achieve durable and sustainable peace in Afghanistan,” he added. He highlighted the steps taken by Pakistan to support Afghanistan on its path to reconstruction and economic development as well as for improved transit and bilateral trade relations. He underlined the importance of making the return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity and honour a part of the peace process. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who arrived in Islamabad on a three-day visit earlier on Monday, said Afghans think of Pakistan as their second home. This is the second high-level visit from Afghanistan after the recent arrival of Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghan Peace Council. The visit of Hekmatyar will provide an opportunity for the exchange of views on the Afghan peace process and strengthening of Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations as well as people-to-people interaction. Hekmatyar was a Mujahideen leader, who fought against the former Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan. He also served as Afghan prime minister in the 1990s. After the ouster of Taliban regime in 2001 by the United States, the Afghan leader fought against the US-led forces, but in 2016, signed a peace deal with President Asharaf Ghani, ending his 20 years of exile and resistance. The intra-Afghan dialogue is currently underway in Doha and the two sides are trying to evolve a consensus on the agenda and rules of engagement. Although US President Donald Trump wants to see some progress before November 3 elections, the observers are sceptical of any major breakthrough during intra-Afghan dialogue in the near future. Pakistan played a key role in brokering the deal between the US and Taliban and intra-Afghan dialogue. The US and Afghan side expect Pakistan to persuade the Taliban to agree on a ceasefire or reduce the current level of violence. Taliban have so far refused to agree on a truce, insisting ceasefire would be part of the overall agreement reached through talks.