‘Pak­istan is a key player’

Southasia - - Briefing -

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.

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