Huddle in Islamabad: Trilateral forum to review ‘obstacles’ in Afghan peace

Published: April 25, 2012

Top officials to meet on April 27.

ISLAMABAD: 

Top Pakistan, Afghan and US diplomats will meet in Islamabad on April 27 to discuss the “obstacles” in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, the country’s ambassador in the capital, Omar Daudzai, revealed on Tuesday.

Daudzai told The Express Tribune that the core group will also review the progress in the Afghan peace process achieved so far.

The trilateral forum was revived last month when senior diplomats from the three countries met in Dushanbe, Tajikistan after nearly a seven-month deadlock over the assassination of Afghan peace envoy Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani.

The Afghan diplomat said that US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman and Afghan Deputy Minister Javed Ludin would attend the meeting. Pakistan would be represented by Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani.

“The meeting in Islamabad will be a follow-up on last month’s meeting in Dushanbe,” Daudzai said.

He added that the Afghan side will call upon Pakistan to “step up” the investigation into the killing of Prof Burhanuddin in September last year.

Kabul suspended high-level contacts with Islamabad after Burhanuddin’s assassination, claiming that the murder was planned with the help of “elements” in Pakistan and carried out by a suspected Afghan Taliban bomber from Quetta. Islamabad swiftly dismissed the charges and assured cooperation in a joint probe.

The trilateral meeting will be held ahead of the Nato summit in Chicago on May 20-21 to discuss matters relating to the planned withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been invited to the summit but it has not yet decided to participate, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said at a press briefing last week.

Afghan sources told The Express Tribune that Pakistan and Afghanistan will also revive the joint peace and reconciliation process following the nomination of new peace envoy, Salahuddin Rabbani, son of the slain Burhanuddin.

Salahuddin was appointed head of the High Peace Council last week and is now all set for the revival of joint peace efforts, sources said.

The Afghan-Pakistan-US huddle will be held at a time when the Taliban have broken off talks with the US in Qatar, citing unacceptable demands by the US.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told The Express Tribune that the talks have not yet been resumed and the Taliban are still waiting for a “positive” response to three of their major demands, including release of prisoners held in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • usman
    Apr 25, 2012 - 8:54AM

    How long will they meet for Afghan peace? Time has come to take practical steps.

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  • usman
    Apr 25, 2012 - 8:55AM

    How long will they meet? Thye should now take steps for Afghan peace.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Apr 25, 2012 - 8:04PM

    Of the three participants of the trilateral forum, Pakistan has the upper hand. The U.S. has to clear the mess before it pulls out its troops in 2014. The future of Afghanistan is uncertain when Karzai steps down – also – in 2014. Hence he wants to call for early elections next year.

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  • Cautious
    Apr 25, 2012 - 9:13PM

    @j. von hettlingen

    Of the three participants of the
    trilateral forum, Pakistan has the
    upper hand. The U.S. has to clear the
    mess before it pulls out its troops in
    2014.

    You overplay the importance of Pakistan and this meeting. Neither the USA or Afghanistan trust Pakistan and both will discount any promises/commitments made at this meeting. The USA is going to withdrawal the majority of it’s troops regardless of the “mess” and leave a small and lethal footprint which will continue to harass/kill militants within Afghanistan and Pakistan. This lethal footprint will satisfy most of the USA’s strategic goals.
    .
    If Afghanistan disintegrates after 2014 it’s not the USA that is going to have to deal with the consequences — it’s Pakistan. If Afghanistan goes down the toilet the American’s will watch it on TV — Pakistan will watch it up close and personal – probably in their own streets.

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  • Sangaryar
    Apr 27, 2012 - 12:10AM

    For the first time in a long time Afghans are in the driver’s seat and they are in control of their destiny. Afghanistan is not going to disintegrate, partition is not on the cards and all the ethnic groups of Afghanistan are very well aware of its two meddlesome neighbors intentions and are planning accordingly.

    It is sad to see armchair quarterbacks/analysts spin their take on things without actually taking into account what is happening in Afghanistan and where they stand on issues concerning their nation.

    Afghan television is brimming with engaging talk shows and news magazines that discuss these issues that we comment on in this message board, and believe you me that Afghans are ready for all eventualities and they are in no mood to be messed with anymore.

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  • Apr 28, 2012 - 5:26PM

    US is quite capable of leaving Afghanistan in a mess. Imperialist powers always do. It is for Afghanistan and Pakistan to jointly hammer a peace formula and that is not in sight.

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