Afghan govt, Taliban agree for talks

Islamabad: Afghan government and the Taliban have agreed for talks due to Pakistan’s intervention. Following Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s “productive meetings” with the Afghan leadership on Monday regarding their reconciliation with the Taliban, both sides have agreed to restart the dialogue process. Earlier, the Taliban had refused to enter into dialogue with the Afghan government’s representatives. However, ‘acknowledging’ Pakistan’s diplomatic move, they have ‘conditionally’ agreed to negotiate with the government. Reportedly, as a pre-condition to enter into dialogue with the government, they have asked for establishment of caretaker government and the formulation of a committee in this regard, in which representatives from their side would put forward their perspective of the setup. Besides, they have asked for an immediate release of some of their prominent leaders. The dialogue process is expected to progress after a response from the Afghan government. On the other hand, the foreign minister held a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. During the meeting, both sides examined and discussed bilateral relationship, promotion of regional connectivity and concerning regional and global issues. Furthermore, both sides reiterated their resolve to adopt a joint course of action for achieving peace and stability in the region. The minister last visited Kabul on December 15 for attending the trilateral ministerial meeting with his Chinese and Afghan counterparts.