‘Pakistan is a key player’
Atrilateral meeting of the ‘Core Group’ which comprise Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States, took place in Islamabad last month.
U.S. special envoy for the region Marc Grossman, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Javed Ludin attended the three-way talks to seek a peaceful end to the war in Afghanistan.
At a joint news conference, the Afghan deputy foreign minister said, “I came here with an urgent message that we need to make the process of reconciliation the central piece of our discussions.” His remarks highlighted Kabul’s frustration over the slow pace of reconciliation process apparently due to strained ties between Pakistan and the U.S., both of which are considered to be the major players in any future political dispensation in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, U.S. envoy Grossman acknowledged that his country’s relations with Pakistan had been going through a tough period but insisted the two countries would soon sort out the issues. He insisted that Pakistan and the U.S. shared “common interests and both countries need to identify those shared interests to work jointly.”
Marc Grossman said reconciliation in Afghanistan would not be possible without Pakistan’s help. The special envoy also met Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to Pakistan-U.S. relations. During the meeting, Gilani expressed satisfaction over the Pakistan-Afghanistan cross-border attack probe and said that the issue was being discussed smoothly at the diplomatic level.