ISLAMABAD: Additional Secretary (UN) at the Foreign Office Tasnim Aslam will lead Pakistan’s delegation to an international conference in Kabul on June 6, official sources said Saturday.
Director General Afghan Desk Mansoor Ahmad Khan will also be part of the delegation, who recently represented a trilateral of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan.
Besides, almost all Afghanistan’s neighbours, the U.S, India, Saudi Arabia, Japan, UK, Russia, UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Germany, France and China have been invited to participate and explore ways how to help Kabul promotes peace and security, Shams said. He said the UN and European Union will also attend the important meet that is an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned initiative.
Zardasht Shams, Deputy Head of the Mission at the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad, says over 20 countries have been invited to the conference.
He said President Dr Ashraf Ghani has floated the idea of the “Kabul Process” meeting to bring various processes/meetings on Afghanistan under one umbrella. He said anti-terrorism cooperation is also one of the key issues to be discussed by senior diplomats and officials from major powers and regional countries.
Shams said President Ghani had wants to keep all the stakeholders on board about the situation in Afghanistan.
To a question about the level of the participation, he said some countries could attend at the level of deputy minister, and special advisers or their representatives.
Kabul is holding the conference weeks after Russia hosted diplomats from 11 countries as part of its initiative to involve regional countries and to find solution to the Afghan problem in the region.
The Moscow conference in mid-April had agreed to Afghan proposal to host the next meeting of the Russian-led initiative in Kabul. However, Afghan government has now launched a new process instead of focusing on the Russian-led peace initiative. The U.S. had refused to attend the April meet on a plea that it was not consulted before the invitation was sent and that it is unaware of the agenda.
Russians are now publicly opposing the continuation of the war in Afghanistan and its diplomats have even backed the Taliban call for the withdrawal of foreign troops. China,
Pakistan and Iran are concerned at the U.S. military option and no clear approach towards political process and reconciliation with the Taliban. NNI