By Aamir Latif
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will meet top Afghan leadership, including President Ashraf Ghani, during his visit to Kabul on Thursday.
According to state-run Radio Pakistan, the two sides will discuss to spearhead a sluggish reconciliation process aimed at bringing a peaceful end to
Qureshi will lead Pakistani delegation at a tripartite dialogue involving Islamabad, Beijing
He will also meet his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the dialogue.
His day-long visit -- second in last three months -- follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and U.S. special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad’s visit to Pakistan earlier this month seeking Islamabad’s help to revive the long-stalled peace talks with warring Taliban.
“I am going to visit Kabul to hold talks with “Afghan leadership on political reconciliation and durable peace in Afghanistan,” Radio Pakistan quoted Qureshi as saying.
In a related development, Khan on Friday contended that Islamabad has “arranged” the rare direct talks between the U.S. and the Taliban likely to be held on Dec. 17 in Doha, where the Taliban have a political office.
In October this year, a U.S. delegation led by Khalilzad, held the second round of direct talks with Taliban in Doha, bowing to a longtime demand by the warring militia.
“The U.S. that had long been asking us to do more is now seeking our help for talks with the Taliban”, Khan said at a ceremony in northwestern Peshawar city, which borders neighboring Afghanistan, local English daily Dawn reported.
Pakistan had brokered the landmark first round of direct talks between the fragile Afghan
Since then, several attempts to resume the stalled peace process have been made by a four-nation group comprised of Pakistan, Afghanistan, the U.S.
Until now, however, these attempts have failed to bear fruit except for a couple of rounds of direct talks between the U.S and the Taliban.
Taliban have opened new
Pakistan released two top Taliban commanders, including the former deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in October this year on the U.S. demand to help facilitate the Afghan peace process.
Meanwhile, Russia has been in contact with the Taliban, based on the moderate, political wing of the movement since 2007. The more Russia came at odds with the U.S., the more common cause
A recent fruit of this contact was the Taliban’s agreement to sit publicly with the Afghan government at the same table at the Nov. 9 Moscow conference on Afghanistan.
Russia hailed the second round of Moscow format consultations on Afghanistan as a “unique” public and open event of this kind. Russian Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov characterized it as “a modest step towards full-fledged negotiations.”