Friday August 12, 2022

Afghan conflict resolution possible only through talks

May 19, 2016

QCG comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan, US, China holds meeting

ISLAMABAD: The fifth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China on the Afghan peace and reconciliation process was held on Wednesday, where the participants agreed that a political solution to the Afghan conflict was possible only through talks.

While Pakistan was represented by its Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, the US was represented by Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Olson and China saw  its Special Envoy for Afghan Affairs Ambassador Deng Xijun. Instead of sending a senior representative from Kabul, it was left to the Special Envoy and Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal to represent his country. A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had earlier commented that Afghanistan would not be sending a delegation from Kabul.

“The Afghan delegation will not participate until Pakistan fulfils its promises made during the previous meetings,” Dawa Khan Menapal said.The spokesman at the Foreign Office in a statement said, “The QCG reiterated that violence serves no purpose and that peace negotiations remain the only option for a political settlement. In this respect, the QCG countries reaffirmed to use their respective leverages and influences.”

The purpose of the QCG meetings is to pave the way to ensure that the Afghan Taliban and representatives of the Afghan government can sit face to face across the table. However, heady with power, the Afghan Taliban have refused to come to the negotiating table with the result that Kabul is blaming Islamabad for failing to persuade the militants.

The Wednesday’s meeting of the QGC remained inconclusive at a time when not much was expected from it.Without giving a definite date for a future meeting, “The QCG expressed their continued determination with shared commitment to advance the goal of an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.”

There was more interest in Kabul rather than in Islamabad when the Afghan government signed a draft agreement with the militant group Hezb-e-Islami, which the US has put on its terrorist list.