November 21, 2014

Afghan high peace council chief visits Pakistan

By Sayed Jawad - Mon Nov 12 2012, 10:39 am

Islamabad and Kabul will hold three days of talks on achieving peace in Afghanistan this week, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said on Sunday.

A delegation of High Peace Council of Afghanistan, led by its Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani will visit Islamabad from November 12 to 14.

A delegation of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, led by chairman Salahuddin Rabbani, will arrive in Islamabad today, to meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, and to hold talks with the foreign minister and Pakistan’s military. “Rabbani was invited by foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar to visit Pakistan to hold talks with the relevant authorities with regard to peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan,” a foreign ministry statement said.

The visit had been planned earlier but it was postponed twice over what the officials’ say of “incomplete agenda” for talks in the country.

Analysts attach importance to Rabbani’s visit to Pakistan as they say Pakistan still has some influence on Afghan Taliban and can help pushing the peace process in Afghanistan.

This will be the top Afghan interlocutor’s first trip to Pakistan since he was appointed head of the council following the killing of his father and predecessor Burhanuddin Rabbani in September last year.

In the meantime Afghan president Hamid Karzai has confirmed his representative will meet Taliban officials in the next few weeks. He said most of the Taliban are not terrorists and they’ve been driven off the land by western forces.

Efforts to end the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan have gained a new urgency with US-led Nato forces due to draw combat troops out of the country by the end of 2014.

On the other hand Talibanisation has touched a dangerous level in Balochistan and the Pashtun Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) have joined hands with each other, in a move seen as extremely harmful for Pakistan’s largest province in terms of size but smallest in terms of population.

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