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Disagreements among participating nations impeded the formation of a regional contact group on Afghanistan

AT Kabul: The proposal to establish a regional contact group on Afghanistan has faced setbacks due to disagreements among participating countries regarding the presence of some nations.

The initiative to form a regional contact group by António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, came after a two-day conference in Doha in February aimed at charting a roadmap for Afghanistan’s future.

The conference, hosted by the United Nations, brought together special representatives from 25 countries and Afghan civil society activists to discuss strategies for engaging with the Taliban-led government of Afghanistan and ensuring compliance with international commitments.

The main focus of this proposal was the appointment of a special UN representative for Afghanistan, a move rejected by Taliban authorities.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General also proposed the formation of a specialized focus group on Afghanistan, which was intended to include Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and other relevant stakeholders.

However, according to diplomatic sources, Pakistan’s opposition to India’s participation in the regional group has led to a deadlock.

These sources noted that the proposal has been stalled due to lack of consensus on which countries should be part of the regional group.

Another source pointed out: It seems that this proposal may be futile and unworkable. Historically, Pakistan and India have viewed each other’s roles in Afghanistan with suspicion. Islamabad’s resistance to including New Delhi in the regional contact group stems from its long-standing concerns that India undermines Afghanistan’s stability.

This comes as Pakistan’s relations with the Taliban government are murky, while India has intensified its engagement with Kabul in recent months.

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