Pak considering transferring more Taliban leaders to Qatar to facilitate Afghan peace
Islamabad, Mar. 4 : Pakistan is considering transfer of senior Taliban cadres - including the group's former second-in-command - to the Gulf state of Qatar as part of efforts to facilitate the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
According to The Express Tribune, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar travelled to Doha on Sunday and met senior Qatari leaders to work out a new mechanism under which Taliban detainees would be released in the future.
Pakistan has released over two-dozen Taliban cadres at the request of the Afghan High Peace Council - but the move has not produced the desired results due to the absence of better coordination among the stakeholders. Now, efforts are being made to evolve a new mechanism under which future releases would be made.
One of the proposals on the table envisages that Pakistan hand over senior Taliban commanders, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, to Qatar, where the Afghan Taliban are allowed to set up a 'political office'.
A Foreign Office official said Pakistan was willing to give serious thought to the idea in a bid to facilitate peace talks in Afghanistan.
But Islamabad insists the Qatar initiative should have a broad-based agenda inviting all Afghan insurgent groups, including the Haqqani network, to the negotiating table.
A statement issued by the foreign ministry said Khar in her meetings with the Qatari emir and prime minister said only an 'all-inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue' would ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan on a sustainable basis.
She held formal talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al Thani in Doha. Khar also called on Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani.