CRUCIAL LONDON TRILATERAL MOOT ON AFGHANISTAN

1607

Nawaz, Cameron and Karzai to develop consensus , Headway in talks with Taliban

Zahid Malik

Thursday, October 10, 2013Islamabad—Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan will meet in London to pick up thread from their earlierdiscussions on the scenario in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the US-led coalition forces in 2014. Mr. Cameron who had a telephonic interaction with the Pakistani Premier on Tuesday will host talks.

Mian Nawaz Sharif who had refused to have a just cup of tea and photo-session with the US President Barack Obama during his recent visit to New York, as reported by this newspaper on September 25, will have formal talks with the shutdown-ridden US leader. After his talks in Washington, Mr. Sharif will return to Islamabad for an odyssey to London.

During his London visit, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be one of the main speakers at the 9th session of the high-profile Islamic Economic Forum where 1500 world leaders including Heads of State and Government and business tycoons will get together. President Karzai will also attend it. This is the first time the Forum is being held outside a Muslim country.

President Hamid Karzai, who was charmed by soft-spoken Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security when he dashed to Kabul on July 22nd, during his visit to Islamabad and then to Murree on August 26 found himself quite close to the pragmatism of the Pakistani leadership on the ticklish issue of the exit of the US forces from Afghanistan and its impact on the region. The earlier trilateral summit among Pakistan, Afghanistan and Britain held on February 5 in London had enhanced level of understanding and cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan on the issue of common interest.

Pakistan Observer understands that after the forthcoming summit the initial indirect contact of both the neighbouringcountries with the leadership of their Taliban would enter into a second stage of formal open talks which would be productive.