Pakistan's role key to peace in Afghanistan: Grossman
ISLAMABAD (PAN): The US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan on Thursday said Pakistan’s role in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan was imperative, asking Islamabad to continue its efforts in this regard.
Marc Grossman who arrived in Islamabad for a trilateral meeting between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US on Tuesday met Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar in Islamabad.
The two leaders discussed issues concerning peace and stability in Afghanistan and other matters of mutual interest.
After the meeting, Foreign Secretary Syed Abbas Jalil said Pakistan was committed to bringing peace in Afghanistan, adding Islamabad used all possible means to bring stability to the landlocked country.
He said the issue of logistics supplies to Afghanistan-based NATO-led troops through Pakistan also came under discussion at the meeting between Khar and Grossman.
He explained the Cabinet would take a final decision whether to allow convoys shipping supplies for NATO forces in the neighboring country through Pakistan’s soil.
Calling the enemies of Pakistan and Afghanistan as common, the foreign secretary said the US special envoy expressed his sorrow over a late November cross border attack by NATO helicopters targeting a Pakistani military checkpoint in the Mohmand tribal region. The attack left 24 soldiers killed last year, leading the Pakistani government to close the key supply route for NATO supplies.
The trilateral meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, with peace efforts, reconstruction and economic development in Afghanistan high on the agenda.
Jalil Abbas Jilani, Afghan deputy foreign minister Javed Lodin and Grossman are to attend the talks focusing on matters of mutual interest, in addition to Afghan-led peace process, regional economic issues, efforts on counternarcotics and problems facing Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
The meeting would also discuss progress on the investigation regarding the assassination of Afghan top peace negotiator Prof. Burhanduddin Rabbani, by a special joint Afghanistan-Pakistan commission.
Rabbani was killed in a suicide attack at his Kabul residence on September 20 last year.
The high-level group meeting is the first since September talks on the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, including efforts to involve the Taliban in negotiations. The work of the "Core Group" of the three countries was affected by the assassination of Rabbani and the cross-border airstrike.
Pakistan-Afghanistan relations were hit after Afghan officials said elements in Pakistan were behind the assassination of Rabbani.
Ties between Pakistan and the United States, allies in the war on militancy, have lurched from crisis to crisis as they spar over security, assistance and the future of Afghanistan.
After a review of ties with Washington, a Pakistani parliamentary committee laid out a series of demands, including an end to US drone strikes.
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