According to sources from the Presidential Palace and the High Council for National Reconciliation, Pakistan is likely to host a conference on Afghanistan’s peace, with efforts being made to organise the event at a high level between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
This comes as the Afghan government has consistently urged Pakistan to take genuine measures toward peace in Afghanistan.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said; The Presidential Palace and the High Council for National Reconciliation are cited as reliable sources. Moreover, sources claimed that to call the meeting at a high level of leadership, the authorities are making efforts.
However, as reported by the Taliban, they are not aware of any such meeting taking place. This comes as the Afghan negotiating team and Taliban delegations have spoken of a small step forward in long-stalled negotiations.
Reportedly, as of yet, the meeting has not been convened. Both Parties will discuss and decide on it.
Afghan Officials’ Requests for Pakistan
“Pakistanis claim that one of the Afghan officials’ requests was for Pakistan to organise a meeting with them and the Taliban leadership, but this has yet to materialise, and I don’t believe it will be possible in the near future,” said Tahir Khan, a Pakistani journalist.
Subsequently, Pakistan’s hosting of a meeting on the Afghan peace process comes after Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Qamar Javed Bajwa, visited Kabul.
Moreover, Enayatullah Babur Farahmand, a deputy of the high council for national reconciliation, claimed he has witnessed a favourable change in Pakistani officials’ behaviour in terms of maintaining peace and “ending the conflict in Afghanistan.”
However, the Afghan negotiation team in Qatar has refuted the Pakistan Conference reports.
Taliban May Reject the Conference
According to Faiz Mohammad Zaland, a political analyst, the Taliban would reject the conference. This is because they are seeking to talk with the Afghan side in Qatar and Istanbul.
Furthermore, some top Taliban official talked about anonymity condition quoted by VOA Pashto; saying that they have three conditions for the Istanbul Conference. The conditions include; it is a short-term meeting, the agenda covers major concerns, and the attendance of Taliban delegates is minimal.
Lastly, the efforts to reach an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban come as the United States and NATO forces prepare to leave Afghanistan before September 11.