Army chief, Qatari leadership discuss Afghan peace process

Published: February 22, 2016


ISLAMABAD: Army chief General Raheel Sharif has met the Qatari leadership to discuss facilitation in the Afghan reconciliation process.

The chief of the army staff, who is in Doha on an official visit, held separate meetings with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad and Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Naseer and discussed the Arab country’s cooperation in Afghan reconciliation, the army’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a statement on Monday.

The two sides deliberated upon matters relating to regional security and enhanced bilateral defence cooperation, it added.

The visit is seen as crucial as it came a day before the next round of the quadrilateral meeting in Kabul that is likely to set a date for talks between the Taliban and Afghan government.

The Taliban have their political office in Qatar and leaders of the movement insist the office has been authorised to hold political negotiations.

The Qatar’s leadership reiterated that the two countries shared brotherly relations, which over a period of time transformed into strategic and mutually beneficial ties.

Expressing satisfaction at the level of defence relations between Pak-Qatar armed forces, both sides underscored further enhancing the cooperation.

They also acknowledged Pakistan’s role in bringing about regional stability, appreciating Pakistan Army’s efforts in countering terrorism and bringing peace in the region.

Moreover, General Raheel also held meetings with Minister of Defence Affairs Doctor Khalid Bin Muhammad and Major General Muhammad Bin Ali al Ghanim, commander Qatari Emiri Land Force (QELF) during his visit.

Kabul-Taliban meet-up: Quadrilateral group to fix date on Feb 23

Meanwhile, the army chief has been involved in consultation with Afghan leaders about the peace process during his series of visits to Kabul.

Last week, he had received Afghan ambassador Dr Omar Zakhilwal and assured his full support to the peace process.

Kabul committed to quartet process

On February 6, the third round of the four-nation process in its meeting in Islamabad had agreed to approach the Taliban office in Qatar to encourage them to join the reconciliation process.

The date for resumption of direct talks between Kabul and Taliban is likely to be announced this week when senior officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States sit together as part of ongoing efforts to strike a peace deal in the war-torn country.

The fourth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) will take place in the Afghan capital on Tuesday.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Last Man Alive
    Feb 22, 2016 - 12:07PM

    One goes to Qatar for money

    One goes to Qatar for countryRecommend

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    Feb 22, 2016 - 2:01PM

    Afghan taliban are not going to listen to the arabs or the army. Even if they do, it would be only be to use or double-cross them.
    Pakistan needs to make friends with India and end this paranoia to be able to successfully regain control of its northern regions.
    Pakistan’s army would be much stronger with a trading partner like India. The world is changing dramatically with old enemies becoming friends and friends becoming foes.
    Anti-India nonsense should end now for good.Recommend

    Feb 22, 2016 - 2:08PM

    Army Chief is doing job of Foreign Minister…………May Allah guide us all.Recommend

  • KK
    Feb 22, 2016 - 4:52PM

    @Brainy Bhaijan:
    “make friends with India and end this paranoia” and “army would be much stronger”, what a brainy combination.Recommend

    Feb 22, 2016 - 6:31PM

    Is he foreign minister of Pakistan?Recommend

  • Guldar Ali Khan Wazir
    Feb 22, 2016 - 10:27PM

    A good initiative on the part of COAS General Raheel Sharif. Qatar, though a tiny state, has a greater say in the whole process because all key Taliban commanders are there in Doha Qatar. Secondly, mini US Pentagon is also located in the same state where decisions of significant nature are made through mutual consensus. Our military chief knows regional dimensions of the Afghan conundrum well and wants to settle it as soon as possible in order to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan and save the region from further annihilation or disaster.Recommend

  • Blithe
    Feb 23, 2016 - 12:28AM

    @Last Man Alive:

    Are you one of those rejects who can’t accept democracy in Pakistan ?!? What a loser! Recommend

  • NHA
    Feb 23, 2016 - 12:35AM

    @Brainy Bhaijan: Looks Indians are scared of Peace in Afghanistan. Conflict suits their foreign policy and expansionist worldview.Recommend

  • NHA
    Feb 23, 2016 - 12:41AM

    One thing must be taken note of. All negative comments ( read of Indian origin) have heavy recommendations. Looks one guy writes and there is a team to ‘recommend’. How phony is this Hindu nation. Recommend

  • Feedback
    Feb 23, 2016 - 3:47AM

    Good to see sartaj aziz in uniform.Recommend

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