Lahore, 16th July: Pakistan has postponed the Afghan Peace Conference which was scheduled from July 17 to 19, until after Eid-ul-Azha.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri announced on Friday that the Afghan Peace Conference that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad has been postponed until after Eid-ul-Azha.
FO added, “The Afghan Peace Conference scheduled to be held in Islamabad from 17-19 July 2021 has been postponed until after Eid Al-Adha. The new dates of the conference will be announced later.”
Sources informed Geo News that the development comes after Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani asked Prime Minsiter Imran Khan to cancel the conference.
Meanwhile, Pakistani journalist and analyst told Geo News that President Ghani had himself asked for a conference to be held in Islamabad with an Afghan government delegation as well as Taliban delegation.
Senior journalist and analyst Saleem Safi told Geo News that a while back, President Ghani had himself wished for a conference to be held in Islamabad with an Afghan government delegation as well as Taliban delegation in attendance.
Safi said, “However, the Taliban were not ready for this, and neither did Qatar want peace talks to be shifted from Doha to anywhere else.”
It is pertinent to mention here that 21 prominent Afghan leaders including Abdullah Abdullah, Karim Khalili, Mohammad Younus Qanooni, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Salahuddin Rabbani, Ismail Khan, Ata Mohammad Noor, Sayed Hamed Gailani, Sayed Eshaq Gailani, Batur Dostum and Mirwais Yasini were invited to the conference in the capital city of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, a number of the above-mentioned persons had already confirmed their participation in the conference.
It is to be noted that the objective of the forthcoming peace conference is to engage with and consult all sides on the Afghan peace process.
The conference in Islamabad was planned at a time when foreign forces have announced their withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban have made significant territorial gains in the region.
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