Pak asked Quadrilateral Cooperation Group members for talks to bring peace in Afghan

Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif (C) speaks on the phone as he leaves parliament after the start of a special parliamentary debate on whether to join the Saudi-led military intervention against Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen in Islamabad on April 6, 2015. Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistan to contribute aircraft, ships and ground troops to its coalition fighting rebels in Yemen, the Pakistani defence minister said April 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Farooq NAEEM / AFP PHOTO / FAROOQ NAEEM

Vastavam web: 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’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 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.But, during the fifth session, some officials in Kabul leaked news to the media saying that the reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar had died in Karachi in 2013 but Pakistan was hiding this news because it feared losing its influence on the terror group.

The revelation derailed the talks as officials from each of the four governments opted to return to their capitals for consultations.In May 2016, Mullah Omar’s successor, Mullah Mansour was also killed in a US drone strike in Balochistan, which further delayed the peace process.At a recent news briefing in Washington, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert expressed doubts about the success of these peace efforts when she questioned the efficacy of the Taliban’s non-official diplomatic post in Qatar.

“We have been now in that war for 16 years” but “they have not been able to come to any kind of peace and reconciliation, so just by having folks sit around in Qatar, in probably a pretty cushy life there, has not demonstrated, has not brought to the table any kind of significant peace efforts,” she said.”At least for our influence on Taliban today, there is mistrust,” Asif said, adding that he believes Russia “today has more influence on the Taliban than Pakistan does”.Despite these concerns, all four members of this group want some peace in Afghanistan and are likely to participate in the Muscat meeting, the report said.