Afghan, Pak, US, China likely to meet for quadrilateral peace process in Oman

Islamabad: Pakistan wants to restart the quadrilateral peace process for ending the Afghanistan war and has asked the group members to meet in Muscat, Oman, on October 16.

The quadrilateral group comprises of Afghanistan, the United States, China and Pakistan. The first meeting was held in January 2016 and has had five sessions so far, the last being held in May 2016 in Murree.

Pakistan would play the leading role in the quadrilateral session to bring the Taliban for negotiations, the Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, as saying to the VOA Urdu in Washington last week.

However, the peace process had issues, since the beginning as Taliban refused to join, demanding the same status as the Afghan Government.

Asif acknowledged that Pakistan was losing its influence on the Taliban.

He said, “At least for our influence on Taliban today, there is mistrust,” adding that he believed Russia “today has more influence on the Taliban than Pakistan does”.

Yesterday, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani asked the Taliban group to join the peace talk’s process and reject war in a move to restore sustainable peace in the country.

President Ghani said the Taliban would “face damaging consequences” if it continues to choose “war over peace”.

He stated that the efforts and coordination between the Afghan government institutions and the international allies of the country would take the country towards peace and stability.

Despite major concerns, all four members of the group are likely to participate in the Muscat meeting.