Pak-Afghan Consultations: Joint Commission for Taliban Negotiations to Be Re-Mobilized

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Context

Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir will leave for Kabul on Monday to finalize the venue and dates for the maiden meeting of the joint session. The commission set up in January 2011 is yet to hold its opening meeting after strained US-Pakistan ties halted efforts to resolve the Afghan conflict. Afghanistan and Pakistan are working to re-mobilize a high-ranking joint commission established for supervising direct talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan as part of the initiatives by the two countries to bring the decade-long conflict to an end.

According to media reports, there are appears to be two parallel tracks of the reconciliation process. US supports one of these tracks and Pakistan condones the other, while Afghanistan is central to both these attempts. Pakistan supported talks have wanted to speed up the reconciliation process, with Taliban transition offices in Turkey. The US assisted peace talks desire to weaken Haqqani network and appears to be more amenable to Quetta Shurra, with transition offices in Qatar. It is not clear if these are coordinated approaches to bring peace to Afghanistan.