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Editorial: Khalilzad to meet Taliban again

In connection with his assignments of going to help in a negotiation resolution to long standing conflict in Afghanistan, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad will resume talks with on June 29. So far venue of talks, seventh in the series couldn’t declared so far. Khalilzad announced the schedule at the time when a number of leading leaders are in Islamabad in connection with Pakistan initiated Lahore Process. After US and Russia, Lahore Process is third in the series aimed what Pakistan claim, “its firm commitments to a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan.” Taliban the main and major stakeholders to the conflict were missing in the Lahore Process. Awarding state guest like protocol to Hekmatyar might be nothing else but “writing on the wall” for Qatar based Taliban leaders who without consent of Rawalpindi-Islamabad attended two sessions of intra-Afghan dialogues at Moscow. At once, Hekmatyar was most favorite of Rawalpindi-Islamabad but later on he was neglected after his failure in getting occupation of Kabul soon after “failure of UN peace plan in April 1992.” Now only “real policy makers” of Pakistan could be in a position to say something about “motives” of Lahore process.” But in simple words, it means that Pakistan has made an attempt to get involvement in the conflict. Not only politicians from different political parties but even Pakistan Premier Imran Khan has realized that “Pakistan’s Afghan policy” is also a cause of its deteriorating economic disorder, politico-administrative instability. But still certain circles are insisting on continuation of successive military ruler’s policies with a view to have an influence on internal and external affairs of Afghanistan. However, almost Afghans are attaching great hopes with Khalilzad engineered peace plan and considering it suitable for the restoration of motherland’s sovereignty and solidarity. The past six rounds of the US-Taliban talks have been held in the UAE and Qatar. According to Khalilzad, in the sixth round of the talks, the two sides made slow but steady progress on four issues under debate: counter-terrorism efforts, US forces withdrawal, a ceasefire and intra-Afghan talks. Khalilzad said in a tweet on Saturday that as per his visits to Afghanistan and Qatar, all sides — the Afghan government, the Taliban, Afghan politicians and members of the public — want “rapid progress”. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a number of high profile leaders like former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor, second deputy chief executive Mohammad Mohaqeq, and presidential candidate Abdul Latif Pedram, High Peace Council Chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili, presidential candidate Mohammad Haneef Atmar, former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, former governor Ismail Khan, and presidential candidate Ahmad Wali Massoud are in Pakistan for a conference titled “Lahore Process”. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who addressed the inaugural ceremony of Afghan peace conference titled “Lahore Process” at Bhurbhan in Murree, Pakistan, said Pakistan’s unshakable resolve to support peace, stability and long-term prosperity of Afghanistan. Qureshi’s claims are not different from the statements and assurances of successive rulers of neighboring country who always encouraged and fueled hostilities and crises in Afghanistan. Now Qureshi needs to confirm in practice what he or Premier are saying in public regarding Afghanistan. Only through proving in practice, Pakistan could help a lot in return of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

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