ISLAMABAD - Afghan-led reconciliation process is gaining ground amid preparations for the US-sponsored crucial meeting of Afghanistans neighbours and near-neighbours in Istanbul in November, primarily seeking to deny all means of aid to Afghan Taliban. Well-placed diplomatic sources told TheNation on Friday that Afghan-led and Afghan-driven reconciliation process was gaining momentum after Pakistans earnest efforts to ensure that process bore fruit ahead of the crucial Istanbul meeting. The proposed US-sponsored meeting being hosted by Turkey would discuss host of important issues relating to Afghanistans security, recruitment, training and equipment of Afghan security forces as well as reconciliation process. The sources said that US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan would need to recruit, train and equip to raise a force of 352,000 personnel security force that included 157,000 strong Afghan National Police to take over charge of the war-ravaged country by 2014, a timeline set out by the United Sates to withdraw its troops. Apart from these developments, the sources said that the United Sates was also trying to secure a strategic partnership deal with Afghanistan to retain more than 30,000 troops in Afghanistan and Afghan bases till 2024. While referring to the Istanbul meeting, the sources said that it was a crucial meeting in which the United Sates basically would seek pledges from Afghanistans neighbours and near-neighbours that no help would be extended to Afghan Taliban after this meeting. This they viewed as carrot and stick policy of the United Sates to pressurise Taliban to come to table and join Afghan-led reconciliation process to establish lasting peace and stability in the war-ravaged country. The sources did not share details of list of countries participating in the meeting. It is expected that Russia and China may also be invited to participate in addition to immediate Afghanistans neighbours. Russia may join the meeting because of its significance, a senior European Union member country diplomat said, adding that the United States might extend invitation to Russia through Turkey. The sources said that proposed meeting would also discuss the US drawdown plans to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and establishment of a credible Afghan security structure by 2014. Apart from the United States, the United Kingdom would also play key role in the training of Afghan security forces and has recently established it training academy in Afghanistan. This conference would be followed by another crucial meeting in Bonn, Germany, in December to discuss financial needs of Afghanistan. The meeting would discuss the costs relating to Afghan security forces as well as economic assistance to expedite the process of development in the country.