Pakistan will host senior diplomats from the United States, China and Russia in Islamabad to discuss the situation in Afghanistan on Thursday. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and its National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf will chair the ‘Troika Plus’ meeting. The representative of the four countries will also meet Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, Dawn reported.
Muttaqi is set to arrive in Islamabad on Wednesday. It is the first visit to Pakistan by an Afghan minister since the Taliban seized control of Kabul in August. “Troika Plus at SRs (special representatives level) will meet with Muttaqi,” the Pakistani official said.
The dialogue is taking place at a time when the Taliban is seeking international recognition. However, the international community is not in hurry to give legitimacy to the Taliban interim government unless they fulfil their promises. “Troika Plus has become an important forum for engagement with Afghan authorities. It will express support for an inclusive government, discuss ways to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as well as the protection of human rights, particularly women’s rights,” he said.
This is the first full-fledged meeting of the Troika Plus after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. The last of this format was held in August in Doha, in which the US was represented by the former special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad. Another meeting was convened by Russia in Moscow on October 19, but the US did not participate citing “logistics”.