|Trilateral meeting of Pakistan, United States and Afghanistan is held to discuss peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, at the Pakistani foreign ministry in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, Aug. 2, 2011. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)
by Muhammad Tahir
ISLAMABAD, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Javid Ludin said Tuesday that Pakistan can offer help in engaging the Taliban leadership with a view to bringing them over to the peace process.
Speaking at a joint press conference along with the top U.S. and Pakistani diplomats after a trilateral meeting in Islamabad, Ludin said that reconciliation process in Afghanistan depends on the cooperation from Pakistan.
"We want Pakistan to assist in bringing top leadership of Taliban into the process," he said.
He said Afghanistan is identifying lower and mid-level Taliban leaders who can contribute to peace and reconciliation. The Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister said he has come to Islamabad with a message of urgency for cooperation in making the peace process a success.
The trilateral meeting was also attended by Special Representative of the United States Marc Grossman and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir. Defence and intelligence officials from the three countries also took part in the discussions.
The trilateral forum was established earlier this year to promote peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan but the body has not yet succeeded to encourage the Taliban to join the peace process.
The U.S. envoy said they share interest in countering terrorism and supporting the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. He said apart from the Afghan reconciliation process, the Group also discussed the support that the regional countries can offer in this regard and regional economic vision.
Grossman said they would meet again in Turkey in November to talk about the regional aspect of the challenge confronting Afghanistan.
Another meeting would be held in December in Bonn where the participants would discuss the overall peace and reconciliation process, the transition and the regional economic prospects.
Pakistani foreign secretary said Pakistan fully supports the all inclusive broad-based process of reconciliation that is underway in Afghanistan. "The trilateral engagements have been very productive and we feel confident that our common interests based on broad degree of convergence of interests would help build peace, stability and prosperity," Bashir said.
In response to a question whether Pakistan raised the issue of cross-border incursions from the Afghan side,The foreign secretary said the two countries have a great degree of clarity on sources and nature of the problem and they are determined to deal with it accordingly.
Special Report: Afghanistan Situation