Can Pakistan’s Imran Khan broker talks between Taliban and Afghan government?


By Kaswar Klasra
Special to Al Arabiya English
Wednesday, 9 January 2019
In a message sent to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, through his special envoy, President of Afghanistan recently appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace in Afghanistan and sought his help to broker direct talks between Afghanistan and Taliban.

Afghanistan’s presidential envoy, Dr Umer Daudzai, who reached Islamabad on Tuesday on a three-day visit, met Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and conveyed the message to Imran Khan.

A senior official of Afghanistan’s mission in Islamabad confirmed this but did not reveal more details. “Yes, he conveyed Afghanistan President’s special message to Prime Minister of Pakistan during his meeting Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi,” a senior official of Afghanistan’s Embassy in Islamabad told Al Arabiya English.

Sources inside Pakistani government said President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan spoke highly of Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace in the war-torn country and sought Prime Minister Imran Khan’s help to broker direct talks with the Taliban as well as inclusion of Afghanistan in ongoing talks between the US and Taliban.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs remained tight lipped over Afghanistan’s recent request. Pakistan has been impressing upon the US and other regional players to end conflict in Afghanistan through dialogue. Islamabad also brokered direct peace talks between Washington and Taliban last year in December.

However, despite these efforts, Afghan Taliban are yet to agree on holding direct talks with Ashraf Ghani government. Taliban didn’t even agree to the proposal of including representation of Afghanistan government in talks held in the UAE which was attended by the US, Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“President Ashraf Ghani has appreciated the sincerity and vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s three visits to Kabul within a span of four months were a clear proof of Pakistan’s strong support for Afghanistan,” Pakistan’s ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted Daudzai as saying.

On the other hand, Foreign Minister Qureshi, assured Mr. Daudzai, of Pakistan’s support in ending bloodshed in Afghanistan.



Categories: Afghanistan, Asia, Pakistan

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