Coming up

Don't miss




Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more


Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more


Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more


Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more


2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more


Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more


Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more


Online scammers exploit MH17 crash

Read more


Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Israel identifies ‘missing’ soldier in Gaza

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs ' €80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Widodo poised to become Indonesian president

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

  • French rugby stars attacked with machetes and swords

    Read more

  • Hollande announces new military operation in West Africa

    Read more


Karzai asks Pakistan for help with Taliban talks

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-08-26

On his first visit to Islamabad since Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office, Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked for help organising peace talks with the Taliban and called for a joint campaign against extremists.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked Pakistan on Monday to help arrange peace talks between his government and Taliban insurgents, and called for a joint campaign against extremism in both countries.

Karzai was visiting Islamabad to hold his first talks with newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, despite a series of public rows that have hampered efforts to end 12 years of war in Afghanistan.

Kabul was infuriated by the opening in June of a Taliban office in Qatar, considered a precursor towards talks with US officials. He now wants Pakistan to help open dialogue with the militia, which has publicly refused all contact with his government.

Elements of the Pakistani state are widely accused of funding, controlling and sheltering the Taliban. Islamabad says publicly it will do anything to stop the fighting in Afghanistan.

Karzai said Afghanistan expected Pakistan to provide opportunities or a platform for talks between the Afghan High Peace Council -- Kabul's official negotiators -- and the Taliban.

"We hope with this on top of our agenda we can move forward in bringing stability and peace to both countries," he told reporters.

In the past, the Afghan leader has identified Taliban havens in Pakistan as the main cause of increased violence in his country.

On Monday he acknowledged that the "continued menace of terrorism" was a primary concern for people in Pakistan, where thousands have been killed in the last decade, as well as in Afghanistan.

"It is this area that needs to have primary and focused attention by both governments," Karzai said.

"It is with hope on this that I have come to Pakistan... to advance the course of action together... but also by having a common campaign against extremism, (to) make sure that the two countries are safer and prosperous towards a secure future."

Sharif wished Afghanistan well in the transition from NATO to Afghan security control and reiterated support for peace and reconciliation to be "Afghan-owned and Afghan-led".

"I assured President Karzai that Pakistan will continue to extend all possible facilitation to the international community's efforts for the realisation of this noble goal," he said.

"I also reaffirmed Pakistan's strong and sincere support for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan."

But there are question marks over what Pakistan can deliver. Analysts say it can encourage and provide logistical support for Taliban peace talks, but cannot force them to negotiate against their will.

The Taliban have publicly refused to have any contact with Karzai's government, branding it a puppet of the United States.

Afghan government peace negotiators accompanying Karzai have called for the release of the most senior Taliban figure detained in Pakistan, former deputy leader Abdul Ghani Baradar.

No mention was made about prisoner releases in the short statements made by Sharif and Karzai. Questions were not allowed.

Pakistan released 26 Taliban prisoners late last year, including the militants' former justice minister Nooruddin Turabi.

Afghan officials believe the releases can encourage former detainees to talk to the Kabul government, although observers say there is little evidence those hopes have been realised. Several prisoners are also understood to have returned to the battlefield.

On Sunday, the Afghan Analysts Network think-tank said attempts to go through Pakistan to reach the Taliban leadership are not new and similar moves have been unsuccessful in the past.

Last month Karzai's chief of staff Karim Khorram claimed the Taliban office in Doha was part of a plot to break up Afghanistan, orchestrated by either Pakistan or the United States.

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper on Monday warned of complications in Afghanistan and Pakistan working more closely together.

Karzai is due to step down at presidential elections in April, Pakistan's new government is still grappling with policy and its powerful army is preparing to change its commander later this year.

"Hope for the best, but prepare for continuation of the status quo -- that may be the best approach," Dawn said.


Date created : 2013-08-26


    Obama, Karzai commit to Taliban talks despite attack

    Read more


    Afghanistan’s Karzai shuns US-Taliban peace talks

    Read more


    Taliban peace talks anger Afghanistan’s Karzai

    Read more