US troop pullout: Gilani to meet Karzai in early Dec

Gilani and Karzai expected to enter into crucial dialogue on likely post-foreign troop's withdrawal scenario.


Qaiser Butt December 02, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are expected to enter into a series of crucial dialogue on the likely post-foreign troops’ withdrawal scenario on December 4 in Kabul, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan will follow up for the next two days and draft joint strategies to cope with the situation, diplomatic sources said.

The planned negotiations are part of Obama administration’s strategy to engage regional countries, including Pakistan and India, in the transition process in Afghanistan.

The forthcoming visit by prime minister Gilani to Kabul confirms that Islamabad has accepted the US strategy to be engaged in the Afghan transition process, irrespective of India’s presence in it. Pakistan has so far been opposed to any Indian role in the Afghan transitional phase.

The US sponsored Pak-Afghan dialogue is expected to help both countries enter into a meaningful and continuing process for peace talks. It may also facilitate the neighbouring countries to improve their bilateral ties.

There have been talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the problems pertaining to the Afghan war but all of them have so far remained inconclusive. However, the proposed talks are expected to be result-oriented since they are being conducted at the behest of the US.

The dialogue comes at a time when Obama and Gen David Petraeus, Commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, are scheduled to evaluate the Afghan war progress that will help him determine the pace of US troops’ scheduled withdrawal from Afghanistan.

According to unconfirmed reports, President Obama is expected to visit Islamabad in the second half of next year but before July 2011, the deadline set for commencement of troop withdrawal.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2010.

COMMENTS (1)

muhammad ilyas | 11 years ago | Reply the visit program is good gesture towards bilateral ties between both these neighbors. Pakistan has to take part in every development in Afghanistan because Pakistani peoples have given more sacrifices than any other country for Afghanistan. and it can not ignore any new development in the country who is connected to the outside world only through Pakistan. India has to come through Pakistan yet it is looking for a very greater role after the exit of America and NATO.
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