News / USA

US Presses for Greater Pakistani Role in Afghan Peace Process

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, left, his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, right, and President Asif Ali Zardari of Palistan walk after a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey is hosting a conference this week on creating a regional strategy for improving s
Turkish President Abdullah Gul, left, his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, right, and President Asif Ali Zardari of Palistan walk after a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey is hosting a conference this week on creating a regional strategy for improving s

Foreign ministers are meeting in Turkey this week to endorse Afghan efforts for a political solution to the decade-long conflict and to determine a plan for a sustainable Afghan economy. Analysts say the cooperation of Afghanistan's neighbor Pakistan is crucial to these efforts, particularly in the Afghan-led reconciliation process with insurgents.


U.S. and NATO forces plan to end their combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, after transferring security responsibility to their Afghan counterparts.

This week's regional meeting in the Turkish city of Istanbul followed by the Bonn conference in early December are part of efforts to keep the international community, especially Afghanistan’s neighbors, engaged following the withdrawal of international troops.

But several high-profile attacks have prompted skepticism about the ability of local forces to sustain security gains. And some analysts say reconciliation with Afghan insurgents, including the al-Qaida-linked militant Haqqani network, holds the key to end the violence.

Maleeha Lodhi is a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington. “I think the Istanbul conference will be an important step in getting the regional countries to endorse the idea of reconciliation in Afghanistan to ensure that there are no spoilers amongst regional countries for peace talks that lie ahead between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” Lodhi stated.

Afghan and U.S. officials say Pakistan can play a crucial role in bringing insurgents to the negotiating table.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last month that the United States supports an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan but will not hesitate to step up military action against insurgents unwilling to engage in such talks.

“Coalition and Afghan Forces are increasing the pressure on Taliban in Afghanistan and across the border," Clinton said. "We look to Pakistan to take strong steps to deny Afghan insurgents safe havens and to encourage the Taliban to enter negotiations in good faith. “

Pakistani leaders deny allegations the country is harboring Afghan insurgents. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said during recent talks with Clinton that Pakistan is ready to do whatever it can to support efforts aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan.

"We must explore and give peace a chance on both sides of the border and as and when that does not work we can look whatever options exist. People living on both sides of the border have seen too many years of conflict," Khar noted. "Have seen too many years of strife, have seen too many years of uncertainty."

Analysts like former Pakistani diplomat Maleeha Lodhi say that improved ties between Washington and Islamabad will enable them to narrow differences on how to take the Afghan peace efforts further.

"Pakistan advocates that there should be a reduction of violence to create the space for these talks. America is still insisting that there is no contradiction in their fight and talk approach. Pakistan believes you can’t do both at the same time nor can you expect Pakistan then to carry out contradictory objectives. So I think going forward these are important issues that the two countries will have to resolve and reconcile so that we can get to the common goal and it is a common goal to see peace in Afghanistan and peace on Pakistan’s border,” Lodhi said.

The conference in Istanbul is taking place after the September 20 assassination of Afghanistan’s top peace negotiator, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, which halted the reconciliation process in the country.  

Afghanistan accused Pakistan's military spy agency of involvement in the attack, an allegation that Pakistan strongly denied.

Pakistani and Afghan leaders on Tuesday held their first talks since the assassination, in a Turkish-mediated meeting aimed at reducing tensions between the two neighbors.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid