Four-na­tion meet to dis­cuss Afghan peace in Pak­istan

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The US, Pak­istan, Afghanistan and China will meet in Is­lam­abad to­day to dis­cuss a roadmap for ne­go­ti­at­ing a peace deal with the Afghan Tal­iban to end the 15-year in­sur­gency, amid a surge in vi­o­lence in the war-torn coun­try.

It would be the first meet­ing since the Quadri­lat­eral Co-or­di­na­tion Group (QCG) met in Kabul on Fe­bru­ary 23 and an­nounced talks would start in the first week of March, but the process could not be­gin as Tal­iban re­fused to join.

Of­fi­cial sources said spe­cial en­voys of China and the US and se­nior of­fi­cials of Pak­istan and Afghanistan were ex­pected to at­tend the meet­ing sched­ule on May 18 in Is­lam­abad. “The group would dis­cuss how to make more con­certed ef­forts for peace talks to start,” said the sources.

Ini­tially the group was sup­posed to meet af­ter the con­sul­ta­tion be­tween Tal­iban and Afghan of­fi­cials. But the process ran a dead end fol­low­ing the ter­ri­ble Kabul bomb­ing last month which killed more than 64 peo­ple. The Ex­press Tri­bune re­ported that Afghanistan wants the Tal­iban to be de­clared ‘ir­rec­on­cil­able’ as they have pub­licly re­fused to en­gage in talks. Afghan Am­bas­sador to Is­lam­abad, Omar Zakhilwal, said this on Sun­day, ahead of the up­com­ing QCG meet­ing.

The meet­ing is aimed at end­ing the 15-year con­flict.

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