News / Asia

Karzai Invites Taliban Leadership to Direct Talks

Former Taliban militants hold their weapons during a joining ceremony with the Afghan government in Herat, west of Kabul, January 30, 2012.
Former Taliban militants hold their weapons during a joining ceremony with the Afghan government in Herat, west of Kabul, January 30, 2012.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has invited the Taliban leadership to direct talks with his government, while asking Pakistan to "support and facilitate" those negotiations aimed at ending a decade of war.

Related video report by Jeff Swicord

In a statement issued Tuesday, Mr. Karzai said he was inviting Taliban leaders "in order to realize the objectives of the peace process."

He said that process envisions all Afghans who have remained outside Afghanistan's political process, including the Taliban, returning to "peaceful lives in their country."

The Afghan president said Pakistan's support of the peace process will be "crucial to its success" and a "significant contribution to the security and stability of Afghanistan and the entire region."

Mr. Karzai's comments follow his visit to Pakistan late last week for a trilateral summit with his Pakistani and Iranian counterparts on regional stability.

During the summit, Pakistani officials warned President Karzai against having unrealistic expectations about bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told reporters that it would be "preposterous" for Afghanistan to expect Pakistan to deliver Taliban chief Mullah Omar - who is rumored to be hiding in Pakistan - for talks.

It is unclear whether President Karzai has pressed the Pakistani leadership for access to any senior Afghan Taliban leaders believed to be based in Pakistan.  Islamabad has had close ties over the years with the Afghan Taliban, but denies that the group is based within its borders.

The Wall Street Journal last Thursday quoted Mr. Karzai as saying that the U.S. and Afghan governments have begun secret three-way talks with the Taliban. However, the insurgent group issued a statement insisting once again that it has never negotiated with what it calls Mr. Karzai's "puppet administration."

Preliminary peace talks said to be under way in Qatar reportedly include only U.S. and Taliban officials.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid