Sartaj Aziz to meet Karzai on July 21

The visit comes after Karzai's chief of staff claimed Doha office was part of a plot to break up Afghanistan.


Afp July 19, 2013
PML-N leader Sartaj Aziz. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaz Aziz will meet the Afghan president in Kabul Sunday to discuss stalled efforts to begin talks with the Taliban in Qatar, a senior Pakistani official said Friday.

The visit by Aziz comes after Hamid Karzai's chief of staff claimed the Taliban's office in the Qatari capital Doha was part of a plot to break up Afghanistan, orchestrated by either Pakistan or the United States.

Pakistan's support is seen as vital to achieving lasting peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan. But relations between the two neighbours are rocky, with Kabul regularly accusing Islamabad of supporting the militants.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif kept the foreign affairs portfolio under his own control after winning the May general election, but Aziz, an elder statesman who served as a minister in the 1990s, is effectively the foreign minister.

A senior official told AFP Aziz would pay a day-long visit to Kabul on Sunday to hold talks with Karzai and other top Afghans.

He said the talks "will primarily focus on ways to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan with reference to the Doha process".

"We remain supportive of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan and want an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned mechanism to be in place enabling all Afghan groups to decide about their future," the official said.

When the Taliban opened their office in Doha on June 18, it was hailed as a first step towards a potential peace deal, but a furious Karzai slammed it as an unofficial embassy for a government-in-exile.

The Taliban said earlier this month that it had temporarily closed the office in Qatar, blaming "broken promises" by the Afghan government and the United States.

Karzai's chief of staff Karim Khorram claimed on Thursday that "the opening of the Qatar office, the way it happened was a plot and Afghanistan foiled that plot and this plot was aimed at splitting or breaking up Afghanistan".

Aziz told reporters in Islamabad he hoped a row over the naming of the office and its use of a flag would be resolved.

Analyst and author Imtiaz Gul said Karzai's rhetoric against Pakistan was an effort by the president to change the perception of him as a US puppet as he prepares to leave office ahead of elections next year.

"This visit basically aims to smoothen the relationship as well as prepare reciprocal visits by Sharif and Karzai," Gul told AFP.

"Pakistan looks very uncomfortable at the moment with what seems to be a erratic and desperate Karzai."

COMMENTS (8)

zakir shah | 7 years ago | Reply

If their is a will for peace I am shore their is away for peace .We must work as one united region and share good and bad all we need is a peace table talk not by spy agents but by people and their elected leaders . In peace matters let us not talk of hate but a way to join and share with each other . Our region a lands of many splendors and opportunities, a unique blend of history and culture for the East and West , The cradle of an ancient civilization which developed around the Indus valley with one of the highest peaks of the world in the north & vast plains in the south Afghanistan & Pakistan Geo Strategic Location With China Tajiikstan, Uzbekistan Turkmenistan Kyrgyzstan , India Nepal Russia U.A E .Iran ,and others Asia is big for trade we dont need Aid but Trade Nor we need Weapons we need Infrastructure with Energy Power And Agriculture and all other people needs

Peace Seeker | 7 years ago | Reply

@waheed ghilzai: "Fast forward 1947 the coward Hindus Muslims were able to carve a piece of India and build a shaky new Islamic Hindu nation where all those converted cowards live now" How can "coward Hindus Muslims" are "able to carve a piece of India " with all the brave Hindus being present in South Asia? Your logic is twisted. And, your speech is full of hate, that is why you do not make much sense. If Pakistan destructs, India shall follow. You do not realize that India is together, partly because of fear of Pakistan. If Pakistan is gone, India would be again subject to Afghan invasions and given the many fissiparous movements, India shall splinter. During the last five thousand years of South Asia, India has been united, rather together, as one state for only a few centuries. History might repeat itself. Pakistan's existence is in India's own interest but only the enlightened can realize this.

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