KABUL: Afghanistan expects to hold direct talks with the Taliban by the end of this month, an official said on Sunday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Shakib Mostaghani told reporters that Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States had agreed on a roadmap towards peace talks at a meeting in Islamabad the day before.

He said the government hoped to “put an end to the futile violence which is imposed on our people”.

The last direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban broke down after just one session last summer when Kabul announced that Taliban’s reclusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar died two years ago.

The next four-country meeting is scheduled for Feb 23 in Kabul. The Taliban are not taking part in those talks, which aim to lay the groundwork for peace talks.

At the Saturday meeting, the third since the peace process was re-launched last month, the four countries called for direct negotiations between the government and the Taliban to take place soon, despite an escalation in the war since the drawdown of the international combat mission in 2014.

Afghan forces have struggled to fight off the Taliban, who have spread their footprint across the country, leading to high casualties among Afghan forces.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2016

Opinion

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel
21 Jan 2021

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel

It is worth noting that massive plans have been upended and assets are now on the verge of being seized.
A horned dilemma
21 Jan 2021

A horned dilemma

Trump would rather ‘reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n’.
Violence & Afghan peace talks
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Violence & Afghan peace talks

Many of those killed in recent weeks have actively been campaigning against rampant violence and rising human rights violations

Editorial

Updated 21 Jan 2021

Agosta kickbacks trial

A POLITICALLY significant trial opened in Paris yesterday. Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur is in the...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Indian media scandal

Common sense, factual reporting and ethics are all chucked out the window in the maddening race for ratings, influence and power.
21 Jan 2021

Rising food prices

FOOD inflation continues to challenge the resolve of the government to control the prices of essential kitchen items...
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Broadsheet judgement

There are plenty of skeletons in the Broadsheet cupboard and they must be brought out into the open.
20 Jan 2021

Unequal justice

IT seems no one wants to testify against former SSP Malir, Rao Anwar. At least five prosecution witnesses, all ...
20 Jan 2021

Schools reopening

THE disruptive impact of Covid-19 on education will be felt for years to come. For countries like Pakistan, where...