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Pragmatic approach on Afghanistan


PAKISTAN, Russia and China on Tuesday agreed to expand their tripartite consultations on Afghan conflict and include other countries especially Afghanistan, after Kabul objected to its absence from the regional moot. In a joint statement, after third round of talks, they also agreed to work for delisting Afghan Taliban from the UN sanctions list.
It is understandable that discussions on Afghanistan would not be productive without participation of Afghanistan itself. However, for quite some time, Kabul has been transmitting negative signals as far as peaceful resolution of the conflict is concerned. Pakistan, Russia and China have developed reasonable understanding during three rounds of talks and being neighbours of Afghanistan their views matter much. Pakistan is also member of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group along with Afghanistan, China, and the US but no headway could be made in discussion of the Group as Washington and Kabul are insisting on use of force and Pakistan and China emphasising the need for talks and peaceful resolution. The trilateral group has given almost similar message as these countries have announced to work for de-listing of Taliban from UN sanctions list because this was one of the major hurdles in the way of reconciliation process. Taliban is a ground reality and no peace process can succeed without taking them on board. Reintegration of the armed opposition into mainstream is the only viable solution of longstanding crisis in Afghanistan and efforts should be directed to realise this objective for sustainable peace in the war-torn country. As for Pakistan, it has repeatedly made it clear that it would support all efforts aimed at Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation. In fact, the country has been offering valuable assistance in bringing Taliban on the negotiating table and the latest reports indicate Islamabad supported peace talks between Afghan govt and Gulbadin Hekmatyar. No other country can deliver as effectively as Pakistan when it comes to national reconciliation and restoration of peace in Afghanistan.