US Deputy Assistant Secretary in Islamabad to discuss Afghanistan

By: Lailuma Noori

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells has arrived in Pakistan for a four-day official visit to discuss Afghanistan possible peace deal between US and Taliban with Pakistani officials including high-ranking political and military leaders.
According to Pakistan’s The Express Tribune quoting a US diplomatic sources, Alice Wells’ visit to Pakistan is imminent ahead of possible peace deal between the US and Taliban. The focus, nevertheless, will be on the imminent peace deal between Afghan Taliban and the US. The Taliban recently indicated that the insurgent group would reduce the level of violence leading to the signing of peace deal.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in his recent remarks has said that his country is working to let peace talks between US and Taliban be succeeded. Based on reports Taliban have submitted a plan for reduction of violence to US delegation, but Kabul has rejected the plan saying that the plan is not clear.
A member of Afghanistan Lower House of national assembly Mohammad Sadiq Qadiri says Taliban should have a clear perception of reduction of violence so that Afghanistan government accepts it. He said he did not think of it could give result as the plan was vague and unclear.
Meanwhile, state minister for human rights affairs Sima Samar believes that the level of violence or reduction of violence should have level, meaning that in what extent the ongoing violence will reduce.
Currently, US officials are focusing more on peace with the Taliban group. In the meantime, neighboring countries can play vital role in Afghanistan peace process.
Taliban have declared that they are talking with US on signing the peace deal. It means that they have agreed on most of issues, but that left is the signing of the deal and other related minor issues. Importantly, the news of truce by Taliban was first shared by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Washington.
There is perception that US has started negotiations with Pakistan. On the other hand, when representatives of the Taliban group go to Pakistan for meeting their leaders and Pakistani officials to inform them of peace talks’ developments, it shows that Pakistan has crucial role in the ongoing peace talks between US and the Taliban. In ongoing peace talks between US and Taliban, Pakistan is trying to have its position in top.
There is no doubt that Pakistan can play a vital role in ongoing peace talks between the US and Taliban in Doha, capital of Qatar as US also knows this. Previously, a US senator had also said that US should talk to Pakistan as now indirect talks have been started between US and Pakistan in Islamabad.
Wells, according to the Foreign Office spokesperson, is scheduled to have a series of meetings with Foreign, Interior and Finance Ministry officials. She will also meet security authorities. The nature of her engagements in Islamabad suggests that the agenda is wide-ranging, covering bilateral issues to regional tensions.

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