News / Asia

Karzai Visits Pakistan for Help on Taliban Peace Talks

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) speaks during a joint news conference as Afghan President Hamid Karzai listens at the prime minister's residence in Islamabad, Aug. 26, 2013.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) speaks during a joint news conference as Afghan President Hamid Karzai listens at the prime minister's residence in Islamabad, Aug. 26, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad to urge him to help further a troubled political reconciliation process in Afghanistan by providing “opportunities or a platform” for talks between his peace negotiators and the Taliban. The talks apparently did not lead to any significant breakthroughs.

The two men held wide-ranging discussions on how to deepen bilateral relations in areas such as trade, economy, energy and communications.

They also oversaw the signing of a comprehensive agreement by their finance ministers to speed up bilateral economic and development projects.
Karzai later told reporters together with Sharif that he also emphasized the need for enhancing joint efforts to counter extremism and promote peace and stability on both sides of their shared border.
 
“We discussed this in regard primarily and with emphasis the issue of joint fight against extremism," he explained, "and reconciliation and peace building in Afghanistan with the expectation that the government of Pakistan will facilitate and help in manners it can to the peace process in Afghanistan and in providing opportunities or a platform for talks between the Afghan High Peace Council and the Taliban movement."
 
Sharif for his part highlighted the importance of the timing of Karzai’s visit to Pakistan, citing next April’s presidential election in Afghanistan and the planned withdrawal of NATO forces from the country by the end of next year.
He reaffirmed Pakistan's "strong and sincere support for the Afghan peace and reconciliation process." These efforts, Sharif reiterated, will have to be led by Afghans.
 
“I assured President Karzai that Pakistan will continue to extend all possible facilitation to the international community’s efforts for the realization of this noble goal,” Sharif sfaid. "Pakistan would also help reinforce regional efforts in support of stabilization of Afghanistan. We believe this is imperative for turning the tide of conflict and instability that has engulfed our region for decades. It is also indispensable for the realization of our positive agenda of peace and development.”
 
Karzai’s administration alleges leaders of the Taliban insurgency have long sheltered in Pakistan with the help of that country’s military spy agency. Pakistan denies charges any of its state institutions control the Afghan insurgents.
But Afghan leaders believe the Pakistani military can help bring Taliban officials to the table for peace talks with members of the Afghan High Peace Council. The council is tasked to promote political reconciliation and its chief accompanied Karzai's delegation.

Ahead of Monday’s talks, the Pakistani prime minister chaired a meeting of his top political and military officials to explore what Pakistan can offer to Kabul.
A source privy to the meeting says the Pakistani leader was told that involving Islamabad in the efforts to engage Taliban insurgents in peace talks runs counter to the Afghan leader’s and Pakistan’s own stated positions that the process must be Afghan-based and Afghan-owned.
 
Kabul’s efforts to deepen security-related and other ties with New Delhi are also a cause of concern for Islamabad. President Karzai on Monday tried to allay those concerns.
 
“Afghanistan’s relations with the countries of the world and in this region will only be beneficial to the expansion of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and that Pakistan as a friend and as a neighbor can expect good from Afghanistan just as Afghanistan expects from Pakistan good toward Afghanistan,” Karzai said.
 
Both Pakistan and India are focused on Afghanistan’s future as international combat troops prepare to leave the country in 2014. Both countries say they seek a stable Afghanistan that is at peace with its neighbors. But New Delhi and Islamabad’s deep mistrust have kept the rivals from collaborating on Afghanistan.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More