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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid