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-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora