Pakistan is key to regional stability, a German parliamentarian told The Express Tribune on Friday.
Rainer Arnold, who is part of a delegation of the German Bundestag visiting Pakistan, said that the international community understood that Pakistan’s active participation was vital for the success of international community’s efforts in Afghanistan.
The German delegation, it is learnt, is here to gauge “how far Pakistan can go to find a solution for Afghanistan”.
Walter Kolbow, another German parliamentarian, said that after a decade of war in Afghanistan, German politicians have started wondering about an exit strategy.
Arnold said that Pakistan’s support and cooperation was crucial for linking up with key Taliban negotiators. “Our previous experience tells (us) that there would be no success without Taliban in negotiations too,” he said.
In the wake of the meetings with top Pakistan Army officials, German lawmakers said that they had greater trust in the military, saying that it had so far not shown any inclination to interfere in politics. They felt that Pakistan Army “is now looking for a new role” in democratic setup.
They also met a number of politicians, representatives of NGOs and the civil society, speaker of the National Assembly and the army commander of operations in the north-west.
Kolbow said that the organisers of the Second Bonn conference, likely to be held on December 15 this year, are also looking at what role the women can play and suggested that they may also be planning to hold a parallel women conference at the same time for the women of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Unlike the first conference, Taliban will be invited for negotiations along with other stakeholders.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2011.
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