Pakistan says will not be part of upcoming Afghan peace talks

In this file photo, participants attend the opening of the two-day talks of the Taliban and Afghan opposition representatives at the President Hotel in Moscow on Feb. 5, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 April 2019

Pakistan says will not be part of upcoming Afghan peace talks

  • Says will continue playing its facilitating role
  • US and Taliban representatives have been engaged in repeated rounds of negotiations for durable peace

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday Pakistan would not participate in the next round of peace talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban scheduled to be held in Qatar this month.
The US and Taliban representatives have been engaged in repeated rounds of negotiations over recent months, underlining how far Afghanistan still remains from peace more than 17 years after US-backed forces drove the Taliban from power in 2001.
The next round of talks is scheduled for April 19-21 in Doha, where the Taliban have long maintained a political office. Representatives from a variety of Afghan groups are also expected to be present but the talks will once again exclude the Afghan government, which the Taliban dismiss as a Western-appointed “puppet” regime.
“Pakistan will not be part of the next round of talks between the US and Taliban in Doha in April,” Dr. Mohammad Faisal, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters on Thursday. “Pakistan has supported peace talks in the past and will continue playing its facilitating role for durable peace in Afghanistan.”
Afghanistan and the US have both repeatedly looked upon Pakistan, considered close to the Taliban insurgency, to push its leadership to reach a negotiated settlement. Islamabad insists its influence over the Taliban has waned in recent years. 
Though Pakistan has sat in on previous rounds of the meetings, Taliban officials have preferred to speak directly and only to the United States in the recent spate of discussions. 
In an interview to Arab News in January, the head of the Pakistan army’s media wing disputed the impression that the Afghan Taliban were excluding Pakistan from US-led talks, saying Pakistan was a facilitator and had fulfilled its task of coaxing the insurgents to the table for dialogue. 
“The Taliban are not excluding Pakistan from the peace process,” Major General Asif Ghafoor said. “We are a facilitator. We have done our job of bringing them to the negotiating table. What is discussed and how the process moves forward will depend on progress during every meeting.”
“There are so many factions and stakeholders involved in the process,” he added. “Coordination takes time. One faction or party gets out of coordination, [which] can result in changes in schedule or place.”


Makkah governor, Pakistan’s consul general discuss Hajj arrangements

Updated 05 February 2020

Makkah governor, Pakistan’s consul general discuss Hajj arrangements

  • Majid presented a painting of Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque, named after King Faisal, to the Makkah governor
  • Prince Khaled welcomed the consul general and recalled fond memories of his visit to Pakistan many years ago

MAKKAH: Khalid Majid, consul general of Pakistan in Jeddah, recently paid a courtesy call to Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
Majid expressed his gratitude for the facilities extended to the Pakistani mission as well as to the Pakistani community in the Kingdom.
Prince Khaled welcomed the consul general and recalled fond memories of his visit to Pakistan many years ago, and acknowledged the cordial relations between the two countries.
Issues related to the Pakistani community and upcoming Hajj arrangements were also discussed. The consul general extended an invitation to Prince Khaled to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience, which was accepted.
Majid presented a painting of Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque, named after King Faisal, to the Makkah governor.