ISLAMABAD - China has lauded Pakistan’s peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan and reiterated its commitment to contribute to the process.

“China encourages and supports peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban, and commends the important role in pushing forward the peace talk played by relevant parties and Pakistan in particular,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The comments come days after Afghan leaders pointed fingers at Pakistan for the recent spate of attacks in Kabul. Pakistan hosted the first ever face-to-face talks between representatives of the Afghan government and senior leaders of the Afghan Taliban. China had also participated in the talks held in popular tourist resort Murree. The second round of talks scheduled for July 31 were postponed after confirmation of the death of Taliban supremo Mulla Omar. Pakistan had said the talks were postponed on a request by the Taliban.

“The Chinese side is ready to cooperate with all parties and play a constructive role in the extensive and inclusive peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan as always,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said in remarks on the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

The spokesperson also noted Pakistan’s significant role in the peace talks and said that China hopes that those involved in the talks continue to make efforts to ensure peace in Afghanistan.

She told her weekly briefing in Beijing on Friday that the Chinese side always stood for the “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” reconciliation process, believing the peace talk is the realistic way out to solve the Afghanistan issue. “It is hoped that all parties would stick to the right direction, build up confidence and determination on the peace talk, and make continuous efforts to realise lasting peace in Afghanistan,” Ms Hua said.

Pakistani analysts believe Beijing wants to play an active role in political reconciliation process. China had hosted Taliban leaders in November at a time when President Ashraf Ghani had concluded his visit to China, which was his first foreign visit since he assumed office in late September. Taliban had officially confirmed their visit to China.

Taliban sources say Chinese officials had also visited Taliban political negotiators in Qatar as part of their efforts to push for political solution to the Afghan problem. Afghan analysts also have a similar approach for China role.

Despite Afghan leaders and security agencies pointing fingers at Pakistan for the recent spate of attacks in Kabul, leaders from both countries agreed upon joint efforts to defeat terrorism. During a meeting between the visiting Afghan peace delegation and adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad on Thursday discussion were held on the revival of suspended talks with the Taliban. “Our priority of course is reconciliation,” Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz had said.

Three attacks last week shocked Kabul in their scope and brutality. A truck bomb exploded early Friday morning, flattening a city block and killing 15 people and wounding 240 as they slept, authorities said. Hours later, a suicide bomber killed at least 20 cadets outside a police academy, while another 10 people died in an attack on a military camp used by US Army Special Forces. On Monday, an attack near Kabul’s airport killed five people.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for most of the attacks. Meanwhile, fighting in Baghlan between Afghan forces and the Taliban has killed two police officers, said Jaweed Basharat, the provincial police spokesman. He said the fighting in the Dahana-I-Ghori district began on Tuesday. The Taliban, who regularly exaggerate their claims, issued a statement, claiming a much higher police casualties figure.