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Taliban operates from Pakistan: Karzai

world Updated: Dec 19, 2011 11:56 IST

PTI
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Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday said that Pakistan has a key role to play in his government's peace talks with the Taliban because the militant group operates from there.


"They operate from there. And a meaningful peace process cannot go well or end in satisfactory results without Pakistan's participation and help," Karzai told CNN.

Karzai, however, said he could not hold peace talks with Taliban unless the militants produce a verifiable authorised representative.

He said the assassination of former president and peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani was a major setback to the peace process.

"Well, our efforts for peace, our cries for peace, our understanding of peace was that we were talking to Taliban. The assassination of President Rabbani brought us in a shock to the recognition that we were actually talking to nobody, that those who came in the name of the peace process were assassins, were killers," he said.

Rabbani was killed at his home in Kabul in September by a bomber who hid explosives in his turban, and who had purported to be a peace emissary from the Taliban leadership.

"A man who came in the name of a messenger for peace turned out to be a suicide bomber. Therefore, we have now clearly said that we will welcome - a Taliban address, but that address must have the clarity that this representative is authorised and is representing the Taliban movement as we see it," he said.

Karzai also said that Pakistan-based Sunni terror group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was responsible for the recent sectarian violence in Afghanistan that claimed around 100 lives.

"We say that this is Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. If it is Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, then perhaps it's the responsibility of Pakistan, and of all of us together to go and stop this," he said.