Stage set for London trilateral summit
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai is all set to hold wide-ranging talks with Pakistani and British prime ministers on promoting the Afghan-led peace drive in London later on Tuesday, his office said.
During his five-day state visit, the president will also attend the World Islamic Economic Forum. Leaders from 120 countries, economists, corporate managers, investors, educationists and others experts are scheduled to attend the 9th meeting of the forum.
At the head of a high-level delegation, Karzai arrived at the London airport late on Monday night. He was warmly received by British Foreign Office representatives and Afghan Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Daudyar.
A statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul said Karzai would participate in the fourth tripartite summit before attending the World Islamic Economic Forum. He will also meet foreign dignitaries on the sidelined of the forum.
Ahead of the trip, his spokesman Aimal Faizi said issues concerning the peace process, the anti-terror campaign and measures to ensure stability in Afghanistan would come up for discussion at the meeting.
Karzai is accompanied by his National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal, High Peace Council Chairman (HPC) Salahuddin Rabbani and acting Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi.
Since his release on Sept. 20, Baradar's location has been a source of speculation, with Kabul believing the ex-commander could persuade the Taliban to enter substantive peace talks with the Afghan government.
Faizi said Mullah Baradar was still under strict supervision in Pakistan. "We will be seeking an explanation from Pakistan on the whereabouts of Baradar and how Pakistan can facilitate direct talks between him and the High Peace Council."
He added the HPC was in contact with Baradar's family. "This is what we are seeking. All we know is that his family members were able to contact him, but the High Peace Council itself hasn't yet reached Mullah Baradar."
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