Pakistan to host Troika Plus meet on Afghanistan on Thursday

Published November 9, 2021
Pakistan will host senior diplomats from the United States, China and Russia in Islamabad on Thursday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. — Reuters/File
Pakistan will host senior diplomats from the United States, China and Russia in Islamabad on Thursday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. — Reuters/File

Pakistan will host senior diplomats from the United States, China and Russia in Islamabad on November 11 (Thursday) to discuss the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan, officials said on Tuesday.

The Troika Plus meeting on Afghanistan will be attended by special representatives from all four countries, a diplomatic official told Dawn.com.

Representatives of the four countries will also meet Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who is arriving in Islamabad tomorrow (Wednesday) — the first visit to Pakistan by an Afghan minister since the Taliban seized control of Kabul on August 15.

“Troika Plus at SRs (special representatives level) will meet with Muttaqi,” the Pakistani official said.

“Troika Plus has become an important forum for engagement with Afghan authorities. It will express support for an inclusive government, discuss ways to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as well as the protection of human rights, particularly women's rights,” he said.

This is the first full-fledged meeting of the Troika Plus after the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan.

The last meeting was held in Doha on August 11, in which the US was represented by former special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad.

Another meeting was convened by Russia in Moscow on October 19, but the US did not participate citing "logistics".

Later, Khalilzad was replaced by Tom West and the US indicated its willingness to attend the Troika Plus meeting being convened by Pakistan this week.

“The US would probably like to explore how flexibility can be brought on the Taliban's stance on inclusivity, women's rights and governance matters. The US also seems to show some concern towards the humanitarian crisis arising out of restrictions on banks,” a Pakistani official told Dawn.com.

He said the US would also try to assess the position of Russia, China and Pakistan on the current situation in Afghanistan.

“The meltdown of the Afghan state [apparatus] and society can be worrying for the US as it would cause proliferation of terrorist and militant groups, spreading instability in the region,” the official added.

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