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US in direct talks with Taliban

world Updated: May 28, 2011 01:38 IST

Agencies
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US officials have met with a senior aide to fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar at least three times in recent months in the first direct exploratory peace talks, according to officials in the region.

The meetings have been facilitated by Germany and c, but American officials have been present each time, meeting with Tayeb Agha, who is a close personal assistant to Mullah Omar, The New York Times quoted the officials, as saying.

The Central Investigation Agency (CIA) and the US State Department have been involved in the meetings, one official said.

Pak shuts down US intelligence fusion cells

Washington: Pakistan has not only told the United States to reduce its military presence in the country, but also moved to close three military intelligence liaison centres, setting back American efforts to eliminate insurgent sanctuaries in largely lawless areas bordering Afghanistan, US officials have said.

The liaison centres — also known as intelligence fusion cells — are the main conduits for the US to share satellite imagery, target data and other intelligence with Pakistani ground forces conducting operations against militants, including Taliban fighters who slip into Afghanistan to attack US and allied forces.

Seminary leader held for links to naval attack

Islamabad: Pakistani intelligence operatives arrested a prayer leader of a seminary at Faisalabad on Friday for alleged links to the terrorist attack on a naval airbase in Karachi that killed 10 security personnel, sources said.

The operatives of intelligence agencies raided the Deobandi madrassa at Siana Chak village in Faisalabad district of Punjab province and nabbed Qari Qaisar, the prayer leader, the sources told PTI.

The arrest was made on the basis of information linking Qaisar to the terrorists who stormed PNS Mehran, the Pakistan Navy's main air station in Karachi, on Sunday.

Qaisar, who is also linked to a banned organisation, was taken to an undisclosed location for interrogation, the sources said.