Executive Intelligence Review


Russia and Pakistan Cooperate To Seek Peace in Afghanistan

Jan. 30, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Russian and Pakistani governments are cooperating to help forge a peace settlement for Afghanistan, another breach in the old paradigm, by which Pakistan primarily worked with China, and Russia primarily with India. Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov has been in Islamabad, Pakistan, TASS reported, and “Pakistani partners” have committed themselves to working closely with Russia, both on bilateral issues as well as on an Afghan peace settlement.

Among issues discussed during the Islamabad meetings, Kabulov said, were the recent meetings between the U.S. delegation, led by Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban. However, neither Russia nor Pakistan has gotten a full report on the outcome of those talks, he explained. But, he said, Russia is determined “to play a constructive role to contribute to a speedy national reconciliation in Afghanistan and ending the civil war in that country.” Russia and Pakistan are also observing U.S. efforts to reach an agreement with the Taliban, including on the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country. “This would be a key step on a long path of establishing peace in Afghanistan,” he said.

Kabulov pointed out that the Pakistani leadership is impartially assessing “its role in launching a peace process.” Moreover, he said, Pakistan is also playing a key role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and especially in the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group. This would also be a good time for Afghanistan to start “actively participating in all SCO programs,” he said.

While Kabulov said that the Moscow format of talks on Afghanistan is the best venue to discuss settlement issues, he also said that it is not meant to rival other venues. He further declared that it is a unique format, however, as, for the first time, the Taliban delegation took part along with representatives of many other regional states; and he underscored that all participants—Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, and China—face a common enemy, which is the Islamic State.