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Afghanistan upbeat after Pak talks

world Updated: Jun 13, 2011 10:56 IST

AFP
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Pakistan is more willing than before to play a role in Afghanistan's tentative peace process with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's top officials said today after a visit to Islamabad.

Taliban havens in Pakistan and Islamabad's reputed ties to insurgent leaders in the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network make neighbouring Pakistan's involvement vital in any sustainable peace deal.

Karzai, who met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, called on the Pakistani government to help Taliban rebels take part in any peace negotiations, said Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai, secretary of a peace council set up by Karzai.

"During the talks, the message of the Afghan government was very clear," he said.

"The message was that those (rebels) who want to join the peace process and reconcile should be facilitated and the means should be prepared for them in order to enable them to join the negotiations," he added.