Af-Pak-US meeting slated for May 03: Haqqani

Pak envoy rejected reports that Islamabad was urging Afghan Prez to dump US.

Washington: Trilateral talks between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States will be held on May 03 in Islamabad, Pakistan’s Ambassador to US, Husain Haqqani, has said.

He also rejected the assertions made in a recent The Wall Street Journal report, which said that Islamabad was urging Afghan President Hamid Karzai to dump the United States, and instead team up with Pakistan for a solution to the decade-old conflict in Afghanistan.

Talking to CNN, Haqqani said that Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US were working together in coordination, and that the three countries would hold talks in Islamabad on May 03 for a resolution to the decade-old Afghan war.

“Very interestingly, only last week Ambassador Grossman (US special envoy for the region) and Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary (Salman Bashir) agreed that they are going to try and create a trilateral mechanism. They are having a meeting in Islamabad on May 03,” the Dawn quoted Haqqani, as telling the channel.

“The key thing is that all three players - the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan-understand that the way forward is [that] we have to defeat some people in Afghanistan and we have to engage certain people,” the Pakistani envoy said, adding: “We want to move forward as partners and friends.”

The WSJ article had said that Pakistan`s bid to “cut the US out of Afghanistan`s future is the clearest sign to date that, as the nearly 10-year war`s endgame begins, tensions between Washington and Islamabad threaten to scuttle America`s prospects of ending the conflict on its own terms.”

“I think Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States will work together,” he said in reference to the importance of the trilateral process.

“We hope we will be moving together, and that these stories are going to die as many similar stories have died in the past,” Haqqani asserted.