Pak-Afghan-Turkey summit to discuss reconciliation with Taliban


Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey will hold a trilateral meeting on Afghanistan’s stability on December 11 and 12 in Ankara to discuss the Afghan reconciliation process with the Taliban.
However, the renewed tension between Islamabad and Kabul over a failed assassination attempt on Afghan intelligence chief Asadullah Khalid is likely to overshadow the vital talks according to sources.
President Asif Ali Zardari will fly from Paris to Ankara to join the Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the summit.
President Zardari will be in Paris on December 10 to attend a Pakistan-UNESCO sponsored event to pay tribute to Malala Yousafzai, and set up a global fund after her name for the promotion of women education across the globe. President Zardari is likely to announce the seed money of 10 million dollars for the Malala fund.
The Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkey trilateral process was launched in April 2007 and subsequent trilateral summits were held in Turkey in December 2008, April 2009, January 2010 and December 2010. “In Ankara the presidents from Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan will discuss in detail, various aspects of peace dialogue with the Taliban insurgents and especially the role that Pakistan could play for the success of the Afghan peace process,” said a diplomatic source on Saturday seeking anonymity.
Pakistan recently released 13 mid level Taliban leaders as a ‘good will gesture’ towards peace and stability in Afghanistan and to impress upon the Taliban leadership to join the peace talks with the Karzai administration and the Afghan High Council for Peace.
Source said the meet, which was also expected to be attended by the military chiefs of the three countries, was likely to be overshadowed by another row that had surfaced between Islamabad and Kabul over a failed suicide attempt to kill the Afghan intelligence chief on Thursday.
President Karzai said on Saturday that a suicide bombing that wounded his intelligence chief was planned in the Pakistani city of Quetta and that he would raise the issue with Islamabad.
“Karzai stopped short of blaming the Pakistani government directly. But he told a news conference he would raise the issue with Pakistan,” said a news wire report from the Afghan capital.
The diplomatic source said that President Karzai was most likely to raise the attack on his intelligence chief in Ankara with his Pakistani counterpart.
Pakistan has already condemned the assassination attempt and said “it remains committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan as the two countries face the common threat of terrorism”.
A Pakistani official said the Pakistani government had nothing to do with the attack on Afghan intelligence chief and if anyone in Kabul tried to link the suicide attack to Islamabad, it would be unfortunate and would hamper the ongoing efforts on part of both sides to improve bilateral ties.
“Afghan officials must realise that Pakistan too is a victim of terrorist attacks including some on government and military installations and the scourge of terrorism is a common enemy,” he said.


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