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Karzai to approach Pak for peace outreach in Taliban talks

Kabul, Thu, 16 Feb 2012 ANI

Kabul, Feb.16 (ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that he will seek Islamabad's help in the Taliban-related peace outreach at a summit in Qatar on Thursday.


"Pakistan's cooperation would make the whole matter easier for us, for the Taliban, and for the U.S.," he said.


Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had said recently that she backs an Afghan-led peace process with the Taliban.


Karzai, however, said that he has seen no indication that the Pakistani intelligence service is ready to reduce its backing for the Afghan insurgency.


Karzai's move and comment came as the U.S. and Afghan governments have begun secret three-way talks with the Taliban.


Karzai told The Wall Street Journal that he was expecting an important breakthrough in efforts to end the 10-year war.


Karzai, whose government had protested being left out of recent talks between Washington and the insurgents, added he believes most Taliban are "definitively" interested in a peace settlement.


Karzai said: "People in Afghanistan want peace, including the Taliban. They're also people like we all are. They have families, they have relatives, they have children, they are suffering a tough time."


"There have been contacts between the U.S. government and the Taliban, there have been contacts between the Afghan government and the Taliban, and there have been some contacts that we have made, all of us together, including the Taliban," Karzai said in the interview Wednesday in his office at the Arg Palace in Kabul.


He declined to specify the location of the talks or go into further detail, saying he feared that could damage the process.


American officials have cautioned against reading too much into what came out of the three-way session, which was held in the past month to prepare the ground for further contacts.


Taliban spokesmen couldn't be reached to comment. (ANI)


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