China has expressed a desire to take on a role as mediator between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office said in statement on Monday, Tolo News reported.

"China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to visit Kabul soon where he will meet Afghan officials to discuss ways to improve Afghanistan-Pakistan relations," the statement said.

It added that the Chinese foreign minister would work to discuss the possibility of setting up a meeting between the four members of the Quadrilateral Coordination Committee ─ Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China.

The four-nation group was formed in January 2016 for reconciliation in Afghanistan through the direct peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

"It is the first time that China wants to be a mediator in Afghanistan’s peace process and soon the Chinese Foreign Minister will visit Kabul. Peace with Pakistan was our demand and this must be solved between government and government," Ghani said, according to the statement.

The development follows a spate of deadly attacks in the country.

Two weeks ago, a suicide truck bomber detonated his explosives in the Kabul city, killing over 150 people wounding hundreds other.

No group, including the Taliban, claimed responsibly for the attack.

Pakistan had closed the Pak-Afghan border in mid-February this year, following a string of militant attacks that Islamabad blamed on militants hiding in Afghanistan. The closure of the formal crossing points on the 2,600km porous border was ordered after the Sehwan shrine bombing that claimed around 100 innocent lives.

Existing tensions between the two countries further deepened last month when the Afghan border forces reportedly opened fire on security personnel and civilians on Pakistani side, killing at least nine people. Subsequently, Pakistan Army claimed to have killed 50 Afghan security personnel in a retaliatory move.

Several efforts, including visits of officials and jirga members, have been made since then to bring normalcy in the bilateral relations of the two countries but no major breakthrough has surfaced as yet.

Earlier this month, Ashraf Ghani lashed out at Pakistan at the Kabul Process, alleging that it is waging an "undeclared war of aggression" against Afghanistan. Last week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Ashraf Ghani held a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit where both the leaders agreed to use the QCG mechanism as well as bilateral channels to undertake specific actions against terrorism.

They also agreed to use the QCG to promote peace and reconciliation within Afghanistan.

Opinion

Editorial

Silencing the public
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Silencing the public

Acting as if it is unaccountable, it is now curtailing citizens’ digital rights without even bothering to come up with a justification.
Fitch’s concern
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Fitch’s concern

It warns that “near-term political uncertainty may complicate the country’s efforts to secure a financing agreement with the IMF to succeed the Stand-by Arrangement”.
Zoo zealotry
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Zoo zealotry

IN a bizarre twist of faith and fur, the Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist group, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has...
Open the books
Updated 20 Feb, 2024

Open the books

Irregularities have been so widespread that even otherwise impartial observers are joining the chorus of voices demanding a recount.
BRICS candidacy
Updated 20 Feb, 2024

BRICS candidacy

For Pakistan to successfully join BRICS or compete in other arenas internationally, the political instability at home needs to be addressed.
Pneumonia menace
20 Feb, 2024

Pneumonia menace

PANIC is on the rise as the alarming surge in pneumonia cases has created an explosion of headlines — sans...