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

US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

Governors of several East Coast states close schools, order travel bans, urge people to stay home as snowfall, heavy winds, flooding continue in areas More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle with Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people were displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid