Pak-sponsored February 18 meeting fails to materialiseWhen the federal information minister announced, and the Afghan Taliban spokesman concurred, on the hosting and attending of talks between the US and Taliban representatives in Islamabad on February 18, it was considered another welcome link in the chain of vigorous ongoing Afghan peace initiatives. But the much desired dialogue never took place, and in view of Foreign Office silence, the real reasons behind the embarrassing diplomatic faux pas remain shrouded in mystery. Suspicion must ultimately fall on belligerent Afghan government attitude for scuttling of these talks. The consistent and categorical exclusion of Kabul from Afghan peace process on Taliban insistence, as the latter considers them mere ‘puppets’ of the occupation forces, have no doubt bred anger, frustration and sense of helplessness in the ineffective Afghan government. But Pakistan still remains a bogeyman for Afghan government hardliners, prompting them to send a knee-jerk-reaction letter to the UNSC, condemning the proposed Islamabad talks as a violation of Afghan sovereignty and implicit recognition of a terrorist group which strives to undermine Afghan security and stability.
Source: Pakistan Today February 18, 2019 12:22 UTC