ISLAMABAD - Decision of Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) joining the peace talks headed by the Quadrilateral Group of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States has given rise to hope that the reconciliation process is likely to bear fruit.

The HIA led by former Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the second largest resistance party, has nominated two representatives namely Qazi Hakim Hakim and Ghairat Baheer to discuss the peace process with the quadrilateral group constituted in December last year to resume the stalled talks.

The HIA announcement comes days after the Taliban, the main resistance group in Afghanistan, refused to join the peace talks dubbing the quadrilateral dialogue process as “futile and misleading negotiations.”

In a statement, Taliban reiterated its demands that “unless foreign troops leave Afghanistan, black lists eliminated and innocent prisoners freed,” talks will not bear any results.

Pakistan’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz while reacting over Taliban’s statement sounded optimistic last week that the Taliban may join peace talks soon.

The Taliban who are still using original name Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) had set up its political office in Qatar regarding it as their legitimate interlocutor to hold peace negotiations about Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s powerful Army Chief General Raheel Sharif also visited Doha last month and had reportedly took the Qatari leadership on board about the Afghan-led Afghan owned Quadrilateral peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

The visit coincided with Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meeting in Kabul last month which had invited Taliban groups to join direct talks with the Afghan government by the first week of this month in which Pakistan had accepted the offer to host the maiden meeting.

With the announcement of HIA to join the peace talks , QCG has stepped up efforts to persuade the Taliban groups to join the talks.

However, some analysts and experts are not optimistic saying the Taliban would not join the peace talks until they resolved once for all the issue of central Taliban leadership arguing that factionalism does not serve interest of any of the groups.

They feared that violence and fighting may further increase in Afghanistan in the coming months.