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Pakistan likely to host conference on Afghan peace

AT News

KABUL: The Pakistani government is likely to host a conference on the Afghan peace process, sources privy to the issue said.

This comes as the Afghan government has repeatedly called on Pakistan to offer honest steps regarding the Afghan peace process.

The sources, talking on condition of anonymity Sources privy are quoted from the Presidential Palace and High Council for National Reconciliation. According to them, efforts are underway to convene the meeting at a high level of leadership.

But the Taliban expressed unawareness on the meeting.

This comes as the Afghan negotiating team and Taliban delegations have spoken of a merely move in negotiations that had been stalled for a bit long time.

Convening of the meeting is yet to be finalized, the sources said, adding that both sides held discussion on it.

“Pakistanis say that one request of the Afghan officials was for Pakistan to organize a meeting with them and the Taliban leadership, but it has not happened so far, and now, too, I don’t think that it will be possible in the near future,” said Tahir Khan, a Pakistani journalist.

Hosting a meeting by Pakistan on the Afghan peace process raised in the wake of the Pakistani chief of army staff, Qamar Javed Bajwa visit to Kabul.

Deputy of the high council for national reconciliation, Enayatullah Babur Farahmand said that he noticed a positive change in the Pakistan officials’ conduct for ensuring peace and “ending war in Afghanistan.”

But the Afghan negotiating team in Qatar denied the reports about the Pakistan Conference.

A political analyst, Faiz Mohammad Zaland said that the Taliban would not accept the conference as the group sought to negotiate with the Afghan side in Qatar and Istanbul.

Some top Taliban official talking on condition of anonymity quoted by VOA Pashto as saying that they have three conditions for Istanbul Conference. The group would participate if the meeting is set for a short term, the agenda didn’t include important issues, and the presence of Taliban delegations is at a low level.

The efforts to conclude a peace settlement between the Afghan government and Taliban come as the U.S. and NATO Forces are preparing to exit Afghanistan before September 11.

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