September 24, 2012

Pak, U.S. Meet to Focus on Ways to Encourage Afghan Taliban for Peace Talks

Afghanistan Sun (ANI)  | Monday 24th September, 2012 | Senior officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States, are scheduled to meet this week in New York, to review efforts that seek to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table.

According to a senior foreign ministry official, the meeting of what is known as the 'core group' will discuss, among other things, the de-listing of certain Taliban commanders from the United Nations terror list, reports The Express Tribune.

The meeting will be attended by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, US Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Javed Ludin.

A Pakistani official said "certain progress" has been made to seek a peaceful end to the Afghan conflict.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had a very productive discussion with U.S. officials on the Afghan situation, the official added.

"The crux of those discussions were: the U.S. wants to achieve reconciliation with Afghan elements and for the first time there is an acknowledgement that no process can succeed without the direct involvement of Pakistan," he said.

It is believed that the two countries have covered some ground to bridge their differences on how to move forward on the peace-making efforts with the Taliban.

U.S. media reports have suggested that Islamabad and Washington are set to establish a 'joint commission' that would help vet candidates who can play a positive role in the Afghan reconciliation process.

A senior military official said the U.S. had finally realized that "the road to success only comes through meaningful and broad based reconciliation".

"Pakistan will do whatever it can to ensure peace in Afghanistan but no one should expect that the Taliban or any other Afghan group is in our pocket," the official added.

Islamabad also considers the latest developments as an attempt to appease the American audience at a time when US President Obama is seeking a second-term in office.

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