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Pak says not responsible for Taliban-UN talks' disruption

world Updated: Mar 20, 2010 13:24 IST

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Pakistan has rejected remarks by the ex-head of the UN mission in Afghanistan that arrest of top Taliban leaders in this country might have disrupted talks between the militants and world body officials, saying they were "misinterpretation" of its aim to back reconciliation process in the war-torn nation.

Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide, who stepped down from his position as chief of the UN mission in Afghanistan, had said talks with the Taliban were disrupted several weeks ago after more than a dozen militant commanders, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, were captured in Pakistan.

Rejecting Eide's contention, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said: "The fact of the matter is that Mullah Baradar's arrest was a joint operation with the US and had nothing to do with talks or reconciliation."

Pakistan has long called for talks to end the war in Afghanistan and Eide's comments were a misinterpretation of its aims, Basit said.

"Pakistan is committed to support an Afghanistan-led reintegration and reconciliation process so any other contentions, we believe, are a misrepresentation and misinterpretation of our intentions," he added.

The arrest of the Afghan-Taliban commanders has also reportedly infuriated President Hamid Karzai, who asked for them to be handed over to his country during a recent visit to Pakistan.

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