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

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment 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.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs