Suspected US drone strike kills five on Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier


The sixth round of Quadrilateral Coordination Group's (QCG) meeting between the US, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan is being held here to revive peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

The meeting is taking place without the participation of the Afghan Taliban.

Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Shekib Mustaghni said in addition to discussions on commitments, the delegates will also share ideas on counter-terrorism efforts.

The United States wants Pakistan, which it accuses of harboring Afghan Taliban commanders, to exert more influence on the militants to bring them to the negotiating table.

Efforts to kick-start negotiations have failed due to the Taliban's refusal to attend after their last leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan a year ago.

Meeting on Sunday, for the 6th Round of Pakistan-Oman Bilateral Political Consultations in Muscat, Tehmina Janjua and Dr. Mohammed Bin Awadh Al Hassan discussed political relations as well as economic and trade cooperation at multilateral forums.

However, the Taliban has clarified that they did not receive any invitation regarding the talks.

Pakistani officials deny sheltering Taliban militants and say their influence on the group has waned.

The Taliban " Afghan Taliban leadership council met last week and decided it would not send a delegation to Muscat even if invited.

In conversation with the Voice of America just recently, Pakistan's Foreign Minister seemed optimistic regarding the first QCG meeting: "The quadrilateral arrangement will again be in operation".

However, other parties, including United States, China did Afghanistan did not make any comment regarding the process. However, the Taliban leaders were yet responded to the call. "The meeting is aimed to review Pakistan" Pakistan's commitments on talks (peace) that had been made at previous meetings", said Mustaghni.