Afghan President Hamid Karzai met Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in an effort to bolster a fragile peace outreach to Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency. The meeting took place in London and British Prime Minister David Cameron hosted the talks.
There are concerns about violence and instability in the region as US and international combat troops are set to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of next year. Another key topic of discussion between Islamabad and Kabul was the Pakistani government’s move to free Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the former deputy leader of the Afghan Taliban, to facilitate outreach to the Taliban.
A similar trilateral meeting hosted by Cameron in February 2013 had raised hopes for a reconciliation process, as Karzai and then Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari pledged to work towards a peace settlement with the Taliban within six months. But relations between Kabul and Islamabad deteriorated as cross-border clashes and nationalistic rhetoric emerged from both sides. But the election of Nawaz Sharif in May 2013 helped reset relations between the two countries. “We have a feeling that Nawaz Sharif has good intentions,” said Aimal Faizi, Hamid Karzai’s spokesman.