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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
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 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.
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 US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid