Islamabad - The fourth meeting of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States will be held in Kabul today to review the progress on contacts with Afghan Taliban.

Diplomatic sources told The Nation on Monday that QCG after thorough review will also decided about direct meeting between the Afghan government and Talban.

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richrad Olson and Chinese Representative Ambassador Deng Xijun will attend the meeting.

On its part as facilitator of Afghan-led and Afghan owned peace and reconciliation process and QCG member, Pakistan is also helping to unite and bring the Taliban to the negotiation table.

This is evident from the fact that Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel yesterday visited Qatar and took the Qatari leadership on board over Afghan peace and reconciliation process and the regional security.

The four nation group in December agreed to resume the reconciliation process which was suspended in July last year after the news of the death of Taliban Chief Mullah Omer.

On February 6, Pakistan told the third meeting of the quadrilateral group meeting that as many Taliban groups as possible must be persuaded to join any upcoming peace discussions with the Afghan government.

Pakistan's advisor for foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said a joint effort would help persuade the Taliban to join the process and lead to a "significant" reduction in violence.

"We believe our collective efforts at this stage, including through supportive CBMs (Confidence Building Measures), have to be aimed at persuading the maximum number of Taliban groups to join the peace talks," Aziz said during his opening statement at the third-round of talks on Saturday.

"In our view, a clear, well-defined and actionable roadmap for the peace process between the Afghan Government and Taliban groups is important."

The first round of the roadmap talks was held in Islamabad last month, where delegates began laying the groundwork for direct dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban group.

A second round was held in Kabul on January 18 which urged the Taliban groups to enter into early talks with the Afghan government without preconditions. Even though analysts and experts are pining high hopes about Taliban joining the process soon, they blame the increased violence and factional Taliban fighting slowing the process.

They believed situation was far more conducive for an intra-Afghan dialogue now to resolve the decades’ long conflict after emerging Daesh threat in Afghanistan. Forces loyal to Taliban Chief Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur and fighters of breakaway faction led by Mullah Mohammad Rasul are reportedly having bloody skirmishes in northern and southern Afghanistan including the Zabul province belittling the prospect of their joining the peace process this month.

Following the death news of Mullah Omer, his deputy Mullah Akhtar Mansur took over the leadership of the Taliban amid criticism by some of the fellow Taliban commanders about the legitimacy of his leadership.

Since then tension remained high between him and the dissident Taliban commanders.

Earlier this month, forces loyal to Mullah Mansur and fighters of the breakaway faction led by Mullah Mohammad Rasul fought each other in two districts in southeastern Afghanistan that are out of the Afghan government’s control. At least 80 fighters from both sides are reported to have been killed during the clashes in Zabul province.

According to reports the forces loyal to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur, the Amir of the Taliban, battled fighters of dissident Taliban faction in the districts of Khak-i-Afghan (Kakar) and Arghandab over the weekend.

The fighting left most of fighters from Dadullah’s group, including foreign fighters from Uzbekistan dead.

Dadullah leads a splinter Taliban faction that is based in Zabul and swore allegiance to Mullah Mohammad Rasul, the self-styled emir of the High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate.

Rasul, Dadullah, and other Taliban commanders who disapproved of the appointment of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur to succeed Taliban founder and Amir Mullah Omar formed the High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate in October. Dadullah is the brother of Mullah Dadullah Lang, the famed Taliban military commander who was killed by Coalition forces in 2006.

After his brother’s death, Dadullah took over his job as the Taliban’s military commander in southern Afghanistan. But within seven months after taking command of forces in the south, late Mullah Omar relieved Dadullah and expelled him from the Taliban.

Dadullah rejected Mansur’s leadership of the Taliban in September last year and he and his followers have been besieged by fighters loyal to Mullah Akhtar Mansur in Zabul province ever since.

According to renowned Pakistani journalist and expert on Afghanistan Rahimullah Yousafzai, there are apparently three groups among Afghan Taliban.

In his thought provoking presentation given recently to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rahimullah Yousafzai was not much optimistic about any dramatic breakthrough and a quicker solution to the Afghan conflict.