BEIJING: Ahead of his maiden visit to China, Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that the four-nation grouping comprising China, Pakistan and the US has failed to rein in Taliban and restore peace in his country.
Abdullah is scheduled to visit China from May 15 to 18 during which he will hold talks with Chinese leaders and visit Urumqi, capital of Muslim-dominated troubled Xinjiang province which borders Afghanistan.
Seeking Chinese investment in war-torn Afghanistan, Abdullah said China plays an important role in Afghan issue.
But at the same time he said the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) comprising China, Pakistan, the US and Afghanistan has failed to rein in Taliban and bring them to the table for peace talks.
“At this moment there are no talks (between the Afghan government and the Taliban) and that’s due to the position that the Taliban have taken. They rejected the talks and they didn’t participate,” he told state-run Xinhua news agency.
Afghanistan’s friendly countries in their own ways have tried to help and there is also QCG, he said.
“The idea was that every country will use its own influence in order to facilitate the talks, but the mechanism has not yet yielded the result that was expected, due to the wrong path that the Taliban has chosen,” he said.
“The principle position of Afghanistan remains that we will keep the door open for talks, but when war is imposed on us, we have no choice but to defend ourselves,” Abdullah said.
China started taking active part in Afghan peace process after the high-profile visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last year making Beijing his first destination after election.
Ghani also backed the formation of the QCG hoping that China- Pakistan will prevail on pressuring Taliban to settle for peace process in Afghanistan.
But the QCG process suffered a setback after the news of the death of Taliban founder Mullah Omar.
Since then violence escalated in Afghanistan following which Ghani and his administration stepped up criticism against Pakistan and called for QCG to deliver on its promise.
Ahead of Abdullah’s visit, Afghan Ambassador here Hekmat Khalil Karzai told media that Kabul will demand answers from the QCG members about striking a deal with the Taliban.
China also hosted a Taliban delegation in the past.
“The objective of the QCG is to bring the Taliban to the table. If the four parties are not able to do so, then the reality is that they need to take actions against all of the groups that are not going to participate in the reconciliation,” Karzai said.
“So far, all the parties’ efforts have not brought the Taliban to the table. Our position is that we are going to ask each country, China, the US and particularly Pakistan, to tell us what they have done to deal with the Taliban,” he said.
“The most important thing for the QCG is to deliver.
When all the four countries came, they made good progress on paper, but after that they haven’t been able to show results or deliver. Every country has its own agenda, but the objective of the QCG is not for them to work on different agendas but par-ticularly focus on bringing Taliban to the table,” he said.