Turkey has rescheduled a peace summit (Afghan Peace Conference) for Afghanistan that was to be started on April 24. Now, this summit will start on April 26 because the spokesman for the Taliban office in Qatar Mohammad Naeem has said that the Taliban will not attend any conference unless foreign forces complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan. He is referring to May 1, 2021 deadline mutually decided by Doha Talks by Talia and United States but now President Biden has announced the date of September 11 as of last US soldier in a combat position in Afghanistan.
What will be utilization of Turkey talks if the Taliban will not sit in talks? is a question having no clear answer for regional observers? Turkish Foreign Ministry is also shy to talk about the possibility of the absence of Taliban from talks it is hosting.
According to Aljazeera News, the meeting would include the United Nations and Qatar as part of a United States-backed push to advance stalled Doha talks ahead of a May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
“The overriding objective of the Istanbul Conference on the Afghanistan Peace Process is to accelerate and complement the continuing intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha on the achievement of a just and durable political settlement,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement cited by Aljazeera News.
The conference agenda includes reaching a set of shared, foundational principles for the future of Afghanistan and a roadmap to a future political settlement.
Islamabad meanwhile hoped for a responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and emphasized the solution of the Afghan conflict through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.
Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement issued on April 15 stated that it is important that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan coincides with the progress in the peace process. Pakistan hoped that Afghan leadership would attend Turkey talks.
US leadership is in constant contact with Pakistani leadership and US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken had a telephone conversation with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on April 14 and Mrs. Angela Ageler, US Charge d’ Affairs to Pakistan called on COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa on April 15.
Pakistan has always projected that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in its interest and peaceful, stable, united, democratic, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan can be achieved through a meaningful engagement of the international community for promoting reconstruction and economic development in post-conflict Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a telephonic conversation on April 15 and discussed the need for a political settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan ahead of the recently announced planned U.S. withdrawal. The Prime Minister highlighted that Pakistan had fully supported and facilitated the U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement and the subsequent initiation of Intra-Afghan Negotiations.
Foreign Office of Pakistan stated that the Prime Minister stressed that the Intra-Afghan Negotiations provided a historic opportunity that must be seized by the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based, and comprehensive political settlement. Appreciating Turkey’s role, the Prime Minister added that Pakistan would continue to extend all possible support to the efforts for a political solution for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
It was agreed that the momentum of high-level exchanges would be continued to transform bilateral relations into strategic economic partnerships.
Regional observers believe that Pakistan, Russia, and China will suggest the Taliban accept the new US Timeline to avoid any further standoff in Peace but only the Taliban can decide to sit in Turkey Peace talks or boycott this important platform.