News / Asia

Karzai, Zardari Pledge to Reach Peace Settlement

Afghan, Pakistani Leaders Call For Talks With Talibani
X
February 04, 2013 11:56 PM
Following joint talks in Britain Monday, the Afghan and Pakistani leaders say they are committed to achieve the goal of a peace settlement in Afghanistan over the next six months. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Related Report by Henry Ridgwell in London

VOA News
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari have pledged to reach a peace settlement for Afghanistan within six months.

The two presidents made their promise in a joint statement issued by British Prime Minister David Cameron's office.  The three leaders met near London, the third meeting in a series of summits that started last July in Kabul.

Monday's talks were the first to involve senior military and intelligence officials of Afghanistan and Pakistan, in addition to the political leaders.

Prime Minister Cameron joined the two presidents in expressing support for the opening of an office in Qatar for holding peace talks with the Taliban and urging the insurgents to enter into a dialogue.

"The progress we have achieved today sends a very clear message to the Taliban," said Cameron. "Now is the time for everyone to participate in a peaceful, political process in Afghanistan."

Afghanistan-Pakistan Talks

  • Third round of talks between Afghan and Pakistan presidents since July 2012
  • Also brings together foreign ministers, military leaders and intelligence chiefs
  • Negotiations aimed at increasing cooperation
  • Two nations discussed a Strategic Partnership Agreement in September 2012
Britain wants the two neighbors to work together to promote regional stability as it prepares to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year.  The British troops have been fighting a years-long Taliban insurgency as part of a NATO mission aimed at helping Afghan security forces take control of their country.

Afghan President Karzai told British media Sunday security in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province was better before the arrival of British and U.S. troops in 2006, and questioned whether international forces are fighting in the wrong place.  He says Afghans just want to rebuild their country and are not concerned with whether the West considers its mission there a success or failure.

Afghan presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told VOA the Afghan and Pakistani military and intelligence officials met informally Sunday before the summit.  Faizi said summit participants would discuss how to promote a fledgling Afghan peace process in which President Karzai has proposed holding talks with Taliban militants to end the insurgency.

Faizi said Afghanistan wants to ensure Pakistan plays a constructive role in the peace process.  Kabul has long accused Islamabad of providing a safe haven to Taliban fighters who cross into Afghanistan to carry out attacks.  Pakistan denies the charge.

Pakistan freed about 20 Taliban prisoners in recent months to enable them to represent the Islamist group in negotiations.  An Afghan High Peace Council created by Mr. Karzai had requested the prisoner releases.  But the whereabouts of some of those former prisoners is unknown.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid