US-sponsored moot on Afghanistan to 'bear no fruit' without Taliban participation

Islamabad, Oct 25(ANI): The US-sponsored Istanbul Conference on Afghanistan would be nothing more than an agenda-setting exercise for the December 5 Bonn Conference, as none of major Afghan resistance groups- including the Taliban and Haqqani network- would participate in the November 2 moot, a Pakistani newspaper has said.

"If the major resistance Afghan groups are being kept out by the US, the Istanbul conference will bear no fruit," The Nation quoted diplomatic sources, as saying.

This would be largely because of the United States' antagonism towards the Afghan Taliban and other groups resisting the US invasion of the country, the sources added.

The sources questioned the US triviality towards political reconciliation in Afghanistan, the fundamental approach to resolve the conflict, and said that could not be done without ensuring due role for the Afghan Taliban in the country's future political setting.

"As long as these elements are kept out of the loop, the prospects of any of the US-sponsored international conferences seeking peace and stability in Afghanistan would remain remote," the sources said.

"The carrot and stick policy of the US with these groups would not help resolve the political the decades-long conflict," a defence analyst, who has been deeply involved in Afghan Jihad, was quoted as saying on the condition of anonymity.

However, the spokesperson of the US Embassy in Pakistan, Mark Stroh, dismissed these notions and said that the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan governments would be doing a lot of work hard ahead of the Istanbul conference.

"The US embassies in Pakistan and Afghanistan are engaged with ministries of foreign affairs of these countries to finalise the workings plans without further delay as stated by the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton during her visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan," he was quoted as saying. (ANI)