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Pakistan to push for more 'inclusive talks' in Afghan peace process

Islamabad , Mon, 20 Jun 2011 ANI

Islamabad, June 20(ANI): Pakistan wants to include the insurgent groups besides the one led by Mullah Omar in peace talks with Afghan Taliban and has expressed reservations on the 'selective approach' adopted by the United States.


Both the US and Afghanistan confirmed that the peace talks were underway but brokering a peace deal between Afghans and Taliban would take some time.


The officials said the Pakistani military has so far not reacted to any American initiative in the country.


According to western media reports, though peace process had started about three years back, the peace overtures have been limited so far only to the Taliban led by Mullah Omar.


Other insurgent groups like the Haqqani network allegedly based in North Waziristan, the Salafi faction of the Taliban that controls Kunar and Nuristan provinces in Afghanistan and Hizb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar have been excluded from the peace talks.


"We want all these groups to be part of any engagement in Afghanistan ... all of them have genuine stakes there. Without any of them, no arrangement can succeed," the Express Tribune quoted a senior Pakistani official, as saying, on conditions of anonymity.


He said that the issue was at the centre of discussion during Karzai's recent trip to Islamabad when both sides launched a bilateral commission to restore peace in Afghanistan.


The commission, headed by the countries' chief executives and including military and spy chiefs, is the first serious effort that indicates a 'parallel arrangement' to carry forward negotiations with the Taliban without American involvement.


Another official said that Karzai had also expressed reservations about West's way of handling the Afghan problem and assured that Pakistani authorities will focus more on peace negotiations through the bilateral mechanism. (ANI)


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