Afghan peace talks may resume next month: Report
Islamabad : Afghan reconciliation talks may resume next month, a media report said here today following a key visit to Kabul by Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Raheel Sharif during which he and Afghanistan’s top leadership discussed ways to revive stalled dialogue with the Taliban.
During General Sharif’s visit, the leaders agreed to hold a quadrilateral meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US early next month to chart out a comprehensive roadmap for “meaningful peace”.
The reconciliation process was suspended on July 30 after it became public that Taliban leader Mullah Omar had been dead for over two years.
The maiden round was held in the first half of July in Murree close to Islamabad.
Dawn reported quoting a source that there will be a series of quadrilateral meetings in January, leading to resumption of talks with Taliban.
It said the venue and the level of representation will be decided by the four countries.
An official here did not discount the possibility of the Afghan reconciliation talks getting under way next month.
Both sides realised the urgency of reaching a political settlement that could end violence in the country, he said.
“It is clear to everyone that there is a narrow window of opportunity and sincerity is required to get the warring factions on the table and take the process forward.”
It was agreed during General Sharif’s talks with President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah that ‘reconcilable’ Taliban elements would be engaged, while the others would be dealt with in “a mutually agreed” manner, Pakistan army spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said.