JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq. - A file photo

PESHAWAR: Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) Maulana Samiul Haq has welcomed the US offer of direct talks with the Afghan Taliban.

In a statement, the JUI-S chief said talks are the only way to restore peace in Afghanistan and ensure honourable exit for the US from the country. The Maulana said it is a fact that the Taliban are the most formidable political and military reality of the war-torn country, adding that the US must acknowledge this reality.

However, he feared that vested interests may not let the peace process to succeed. He said the names of the Taliban leaders should be removed from the most wanted list to move the peace process forward. He said the US overture was a pragmatic move and hoped for its success.

However, the process is already facing challenges, as the Afghan government has indicated that it would not accept any talks which are not Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.