ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan will elicit Pakistan’s facilitation in the peace and reconciliation process during talks between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in Kabul on July 19, Afghan Ambassador Omar Daudzai said on Tuesday.
Both leaders will also discuss border incursions that have driven a wedge between the two countries, Daudzai told The Express Tribune.
“The most important subject on the agenda will be peace and reconciliation and Pakistan’s help and its key role,” the Afghan envoy said on the phone from Kabul. Daudzai is in Kabul to finalise preparations for Prime Minister Ashraf’s visit.
So far, peace interlocutors have failed to get the Afghan Taliban into starting an intra-Afghan dialogue. Insurgents also ignored a rare appeal by former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to the Taliban and other armed Afghan groups to partake in direct talks with the US-backed Afghan government.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told The Express Tribune that ‘the United States and the Islamic Emirate’ are two major parties in the conflict and that the Taliban did not want to talk to the ‘powerless regime’ in Kabul.
A former Taliban leader, who is now pleading for reconciliation, agrees that the militant network is unwilling to talk to the Afghan government for now.
Ambassador Daudzai said both sides will also assess their bilateral economic relationship, particularly in view of the reopened Nato supply routes. The repatriation of Afghan refugees will also be discussed.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2012.
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