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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid