Four-nation meet to discuss Afghan peace in Pakistan
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.