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Karzai gives 'hard and blunt' ultimatum to Pak to produce Taliban leaders for peace talks

Kabul, Fri, 17 Feb 2012 ANI

Kabul, Feb 17 (ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai has bluntly demanded that Pakistan produce Taliban leaders to negotiate with him, during his ongoing visit to Islamabad.


The Guardian quoted a source, as saying that the Pakistani side was shocked by the Afghan leader's aggression.


Karzai has long demanded that Pakistan bring the leadership of the Taliban to the negotiating table, including its chief, Mullah Mohammad Omar.


Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar described the discussions with the Afghan delegation as "hard" and "serious", and clarified that Islamabad was unaware of Mullah Omar whereabouts.


"We don't have Mullah Omar to bring. That's the crazy perception about Pakistan. It's ridiculous," she added.


The Afghan side's main meeting on Thursday was with the combined Pakistani civilian and military leadership, which went on for around three hours, with the Pakistani prime minister, foreign minister, army chief and head of the intelligence service all present, the paper said.


Reports suggest that at one point, Karzai asked Khar whether she was "willing to stop girls studying in schools and universities in Pakistan."


When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s, it stopped the education of girls and banned women from working. head of the Karzai visit, Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Umer Daudzai, a key adviser to the president, said: "President Hamid Karzai will expect Pakistan to facilitate contacts and dialogue with Taliban."


Pakistan says that it will aid Kabul's peace efforts, but added that it was unclear about what Karzai expects from the country.


"We will not block any process that works towards reconciliation," but "we told them (the Afghan side) that you need to clarify what it is that you want. We need to understand each other much better," Khar said. (ANI)


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