London confab likely to focus on forces withdrawal from Afghanistan


Islamabad : A senior Pakistani analyst Ayaz Wazir on Sunday believed that the London conference on Afghanistan would likely to focus on the strategy of withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

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Talking to IRNA the analyst who is a specialist of Afghanistan affairs said that a way for transferring security responsibilities to the Afghan authorities would also be found out in the meeting.

U.S. President Barack Obama earlier had announced to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan to “seize the initiative” to end the unpopular war and start a pullout in July 2011.

The conference will take place in London on 28 January co-hosted by UK, Afghanistan and United Nations. It will be co-chaired by the UK Foreign Minister David Miliband, his outgoing Afghan counterpart Rangin Spanta, and UN Special Representative to Afghanistan, Kai Eide.

The British government had earlier announced that a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops would be sketched in the conference.

Many countries including some European partners of Britain as well as Afghanistan’s neighbors have cast doubt on the success of the Afghanistan Conference in London.

Foreign ministers from International Security Assistance Force partners, Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours and key regional player representatives from NATO, the United Nations, the EU and other international organisations will also attend the conference.

Ramin Mihman-Parast, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said the main goal of the conference was to “resolve the domestic problems of Britain and not Afghanistan.”

Ayaz Wazir expressing his views made it clear that the issue of Afghanistan cannot solved unless there is peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“Conferences would be meaningless whether they held in Moscow, Istanbul or London if there are only promises and hopes”, he said.

“Afghan government has to sit with Taliban to bring peace in the country and it is most likely that a strategy to start an open dialogue with Taliban would be discussed in the London conference”, he opined.

Ayaz Wazir said that he was not against the conferences but there must be a positive come out of those meetings.

“Taliban will not lay down their arms unless there is an agreement between them and Afghan government”, the analyst thought.

Ayaz Wazir believed that issue of Afghanistan cannot be solved without talking Iran and Pakistan on board. “Iran and Pakistan are two important states of the region”, he added.

He added that Iran is a “significant” regional state and can play a great role in bringing political and economic stability to Afghanistan.

“Iran and Pakistan have deep interests in Afghanistan”, the analyst said.

He viewed that all the neighboring countries of Afghanistan should sit together and try to form a common strategy to deal with the issue of Afghanistan.

Ayaz Wazir was of the opinion that it would be better if the solution of Afghan issue would be found out within Afghanistan.