Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and US meet in Muscat to revive peace talks with Taliban

  • QCG meeting with Taliban collapsed when Mullah Akhtar was killed in US drone strike

ISLAMABAD – In an effort to restore peace talks with Afghan Taliban, four key parties – Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and the United States – met in Oman, local media reported.

It is not confirm yet whether any representative from Taliban side participated in the meeting, which failed in 2015.

Media reports suggest that Taliban had announced not to be part of the negotiation in Muscat, questioning the success of peace talks, which have reportedly been revived on efforts made by Pakistan.

In four nation huddle, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua was heading the Pakistani delegation.

However, other parties, including United States, China did Afghanistan did not make any comment regarding the process.

The four-nation Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QGC), which met last year, has been making effort to bring Afghan government and Taliban on a table to resolve the issues.

Amin Waqad — a close aide to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during last week hinted at joining the talks by the Afghan government and Taliban team in Muscat.

However, the Taliban has clarified that they did not receive any invitation regarding the talks.

Last year, the Taliban refused to carry on talks after their leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur was killed during a strike by US drone in Pakistan’s premises.

It is important to mention that the United States, which blames Pakistan for sheltering the militants, is of view that the Pakistani government put pressure on the groups to revive the negotiations.

The participation of the US in the meeting depicts that the country did not want to fully depend on military operation as President Donald Trump announced in his South Asia policy declaring raising number of troops in Afghanistan.