US envoy due today

ISLAMABAD: US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins is arriving here on Tuesday on a two-day visit for discussions on the future of Afghan peace talks in Qatar’s capital Doha which have been pervaded by uncertainty from the start last week.

His hosts in Islamabad are expecting him to brief them on his discussions in Doha and Kabul, where he met leaders of the Afghan government and Taliban in an effort to salvage the peace process which virtually ran aground soon after the opening of the Taliban’s office in the Qatari capital due to controversies over the name of the office and raising of flag.

Mr Dobbins will meet Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz and other officials during his stay here.

Pakistani officials hope the process will continue, but fear that the continued stalemate could complicate it.

Sharing the Afghan government’s concerns, Mr Dobbins told journalists in Kabul that “the use of the Islamic Emirate title [by the Taliban] and the symbols, signs and nomenclature were incompatible with what had been understood to be the arrangement”. He said the US too felt outraged over the matter.

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