One important country will be missing from a conference on the future of Afghanistan due to start in the German city of Bonn on Monday.
Representatives from 100 nations and international organisations will meet to discuss the future of the war-torn country once foreign troops leave in 2014.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is appealing for another 10 years of military and financial support to ensure a stable future.
However, no one from Afghanistan’s closest neighbour Pakistan will be at the summit as confirmed by Pakistan’s Information Minister Firdaus Ashiq Awan.
“Pakistan is not going to participate in the Bonn Conference. None of our representatives will go there and attend that conference,” she said.
Karzai has already criticised Pakistan for its lack of help in striking a peace deal with the Taliban leadership.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle hinted at reasons for Pakistan’s reticence. Speaking to dignitaries ahead of the conference he said: “Maybe some are reluctant. I have to say, if some have a hidden agenda, it would be counterproductive for their own national interest.”
On the streets of Bonn, thousands joined a demonstration on Saturday calling for a full withdrawal of German troops from Afghanistan. Organisers of the event claim the conference will be meaningless without Pakistan’s contribution.