Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Hamid Karzai will be the star delegates along with British Premier David Cameron at October’s trilateral summit in London that will look afresh at the Afghan reconciliation process.
This will be the fourth summit since the Afghan-Pakistan-UK trilateral process has started. Former president Asif Ali Zardari had led the Pakistani delegation in the previous summit that was held in February this year, which had set a six-month roadmap for peace in war-torn Afghanistan.
The upcoming summit is taking place following the release of Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Kabul’s request, but his role in the peace process is still in doubt.
Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai has confirmed that President Karzai will travel to London to attend the summit where the three leaders will review cooperation for the peace process.
Mosazai, during his weekly press briefing in Kabul on Sunday said that the Afghan foreign minister, the UK foreign secretary and PM’s Adviser of Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last week and discussed the upcoming London summit.
However, the Taliban consider the London trilateral summit, as a move to weaken their initiatives including the Qatar process.
A Taliban official who had been involved in the Qatar peace process says no party could succeed without their [Taliban’s] consent and involvement.
Mullah Baradar’s release
The Afghan foreign ministry spokesperson said that Mullah Baradar, the former Taliban second-in-command, should come to Afghanistan. In his previous briefing, he had also invited Baradar and other freed Taliban leaders to open office in Afghanistan.
“We expect Pakistan to take further steps in supporting the Afghan peace process and the role that Mullah Baradar can play to support the initiative,” Mosazai said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2013.