Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai is anticipated to steer a high-level delegation, together with High Council for National Reconciliation chief Abdullah Abdullah, to Pakistan to present a push to efforts to forge a political settlement in Afghanistan amid the fast-paced drawdown of US forces.

Karzai’s go to is being seen as complementary to US particular consultant for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad’s efforts to nudge the Afghan authorities and the Taliban in direction of a political settlement. Khalilzad started a go to on June four that has taken him to Afghanistan and Qatar, the place he met the Taliban negotiating staff.

The staff to be led by Karzai to Pakistan will symbolize the Grand Council that was convened just lately by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to style a method for additional talks with the Taliban, individuals aware of developments mentioned on situation of anonymity. The inclusion of Abdullah within the staff is an effort to mission a united entrance, they mentioned.

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The staff is anticipated to journey to Islamabad by June 20 and its members will have interaction with Pakistan’s political and army management to underline the significance of taking ahead talks with the Taliban on discovering a political settlement, the individuals mentioned.

“The team will convey the will of the Afghan people to the Pakistani leadership and discuss ways to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table,” one of many individuals cited above mentioned.

The Afghan aspect is anticipating the Pakistani aspect to lend a serving to hand, although there’s a heated dialogue in Kabul on the best way ahead with Islamabad, particularly due to the dearth of belief and suspicions concerning the Pakistani army’s shut ties with components inside the Afghan Taliban, the individuals mentioned.

Referring to the Pakistani army’s relationship with the Haqqani Network, which has been blamed for a string of assaults in Afghanistan, a second particular person mentioned: “It is better to convince the master so that they can convince the foot soldiers. The patron has been behaving badly for too long.”

The Taliban have refused to open a dialogue with Ghani’s authorities and are holding separate talks with Khalilzad. It is believed UK Chief of Defence Staff Gen Nick Carter has been spearheading British efforts to push the Pakistani aspect to play a optimistic position in serving to with the Afghan peace course of.

Key Western powers have identified to Pakistan {that a} optimistic position within the Afghan peace course of would even be useful at a time when Islamabad is coping with numerous vulnerabilities and challenges, equivalent to a worsening economic system and stress on the counter-terrorism entrance from our bodies such because the Financial Action Task Force FATF).

The individuals mentioned there was a rising realisation in India, Afghanistan and key Western powers that the Taliban could have an element within the subsequent authorities fashioned in Kabul and, subsequently, the present efforts ought to be sure that the group didn’t emerge because the dominant energy in such a dispensation. “Even Pakistan realises that a government in which the Taliban have free rein is not in its interests,” the primary particular person cited above mentioned.

Sameer Patil, fellow for worldwide safety research at Gateway House, mentioned: “Everyone expects the Taliban to be part of the next Afghan government in some manner. This would indicate that efforts to contain the Taliban by all the players, except for Pakistan, haven’t yielded results, but it is also true that efforts to prop up other political elements have not been successful.”

He added, “The only option now is to create an amalgamation of elements from both sides that will work for some sort of political stability in Afghanistan. Within this, the aim will be to ensure the Taliban doesn’t have the upper hand.”

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