Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif arrived in Doha on Monday and held separate meetings with Qatari leadership.
The military’s media wing Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) says Gen. Sharif met Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the state of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Naseer Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Minister of Defence Affairs, Doctor Khalid Bin Muhammad Al-Attiya and Major General Muhammad Bin Ali Al-Ghanim, Commander Qatari Emiri Land Force (QELF).
According to ISPR, during the meetings with Emir and PM, matters related to regional security, enhanced bilateral defence cooperation and facilitation of reconciliation process in Afghanistan through Taliban’s political office in Qatar was discussed in detail.
Gen. Sharif’s visit to Qatar comes a day before the 4th round of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meeting in Kabul.
In the previous three rounds, the four-nation committee fromed by representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China okayed a roadmap for restarting the halted peace process but in this round of talks they are expected to fix a date for direct talks with Taliban.
The meeting on Tuesday would be attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai from Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Ambassador Richard G. Olson from the United States and Ambassador Deng Xijun from China.
If talks successfully proceed and Afghanistan receives lasting peace after over a decade of bloody war, this would be the main achievement of the National Unity Government. -KP