A meeting scheduled to be held in Dubai on Afghanistan’s peace process was reportedly postponed after Taliban representatives from their Qatar office were refused United Arab Emirates visas, TOLO News has reported.
The meeting was scheduled to have taken place in the first week of November but according to sources, ongoing tension between Qatar and a number of Arab countries was the reason for the UAE refusing to issue Taliban representatives visas.
The Dubai meeting was a Pugwash organization initiative. The organization has held a number of such meetings in the past and representatives from various political parties were supposed to have attended.
Nazar Mohammad Mutmaen, a writer and political activist, was himself due to have attended the meeting. He said however, that the meeting was postponed.
“The plan was that the meeting should be held in the first week of November, but now it seems the meeting will be held at the end of November in one of the Gulf countries and Taliban might attend,” he said.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid however told TOLOnews in a telephone interview that the group was not aware of the latest development. He said the Taliban had not agreed to attending the Dubai meeting.
But Mutmaen said: "At such meetings if foreigners and Afghan politicians sit together, their views get closer and it can help bring peace."
Some MPs meanwhile said such meetings were a waste of time.
“The quadrilateral meeting between US, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan was held and nothing was achieved! Another meeting was held in Moscow between Pakistan, China and Iran and that also yielded no results. The Afghan people have lost trust in such meetings,” Kabul Provincial Council member Naqibullah Hashimi said.
“Afghanistan’s war is being controlled by a number of regional groups and by people from ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence service), not by those who hold meetings in Dubai, Qatar or other places. In my view, these meetings do not achieve anything,” MP Abdul Rahim Ayoubi said.
In recent years, holding peace talks with the Taliban has always been one of the main plans of the Afghan government and Kabul and its allies have repeatedly called on Pakistan to take part in these efforts and work honestly.