ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has asked the members of the Quadrilateral Cooperation Group on Afghanistan to meet next week in Oman and resume talks to bring peace in the war- torn country.
Afghanistan, the United States, China and Pakistan are members of the Quadrilateral Cooperation Group (QCG), which first met in January 2016.
Pakistan has asked the group members to meet in Muscat, Oman’s capital, on October 16 as part of its effort to restart the quadrilateral peace process for ending the Afghan war, Dawn reported.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, who recently visited the US, told the VOA Urdu in Washington that his country would play a leading role in this quadrilateral session, aimed at bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiation table.
So far, five sessions of the QCG have been held, with the last being held in May 2016 in Murree, Pakistan.
The peace efforts has been plagued by problems from the beginning. First, the Taliban refused to join it demanding the same status as that of the Afghanistan government. When they were persuaded to attend the meet, relations between Kabul and Islamabad became strained.
The international community also welcomed the quadrilateral talks as the four countries are seen as crucial for ensuring the success of any peace talks on Afghanistan. China’s participation in the talks was particularly encouraging as both Pakistan and Afghanistan set aside their acrimony to welcome China.
Pakistan hoped that China’s involvement would answer its main concern, India’s growing influence in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan government hoped that China’s clout with Pakistan could have help persuade Islamabad to improve its ties with Kabul.
All four members of this group want some peace in Afghanistan and are likely to participate in the Muscat meeting, the report said.
But instead of sending their senior officials, as they did in the last five meetings, they are likely to send mid- level officials to prepare for future talks, it added.