News / Asia

    Pakistan, Afghanistan Reach Out to Insurgents

    Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (R) and Chairman of Afghanistan's High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani stand before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 12, 2012.Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (R) and Chairman of Afghanistan's High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani stand before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 12, 2012.
    x
    Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (R) and Chairman of Afghanistan's High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani stand before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 12, 2012.
    Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (R) and Chairman of Afghanistan's High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani stand before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 12, 2012.
    Ayaz Gul
    Pakistan and Afghanistan have jointly appealed to Taliban-led insurgent groups to participate in the Afghan political reconciliation process aimed at ending the war. They are asking the militants to sever links with al-Qaida and other international terror networks.

    A high-level delegation of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, led by its chairman Salahuddin Rabbani, concluded a three-day visit Wednesday in Islamabad, where it held intensive talks with Pakistani political and military leaders.

    The discussions were focused on how to encourage Taliban and other militant groups to stop fighting and join peace negotiations. The talks came as the U.S. and NATO-led international coalition plans to pull most of their troops from Afghanistan by 2014.

    Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have reported significant progress in the talks, including release of several Taliban prisoners by Pakistan. The Kabul government has long demanded the release of these men, hoping their rehabilitation to Afghanistan will encourage other militants to end violence and join the peace process.

    A senior member of the Afghan delegation, Abdul Hameed Mubarez, praised Pakistan’s decision of releasing Taliban prisoners as a major step forward.

    Mubarez said the prisoners are Afghans and his country will gain from their return to Afghanistan, because it also may encourage other militants to join talks and become part of the national political process. He said that if the Taliban wants, it can participate and even field their candidate in the next presidential election set for April 2014.

    The High Peace Council’s chairman Rabbani expressed confidence that by working together, Pakistan and Afghanistan can help achieve stability in his country.  

    “We very much look forward to a very close cooperation between the two countries because peace in Afghanistan is peace in Pakistan, and we are very much confident that we will be able to work cooperatively and closely so that peace and stability comes to Afghanistan,” said Rabbani.

    Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik reaffirmed his country’s support for the Afghan peace efforts.

    “We firmly believe that a safe Afghanistan is [a] safe Pakistan. Pakistan will continue to support any peace process and dialogue,” said Malik.

    In a joint statement issued at the end of the talks, both countries have called for the Taliban and other armed groups to break ties with al-Qaida and other terrorist networks.

    Afghan officials believe that by using its past links with the Taliban and allegations that top leaders of the militant group have taken refuge in Pakistan, the neighboring country can play a key role in bringing insurgents to the negotiating table.

    Islamabad denies the presence of Taliban commanders in Pakistan, and says an early end to the Afghan conflict is likely to strengthen its own efforts against local militancy.

    There are fears among regional countries, including Pakistan, that Afghanistan could descend into further chaos if foreign forces leave without a political peace process in place well before the 2014 deadline.

    Afghanistan’s High Peace Council has failed to establish direct talks between the government of President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban because of the prevailing mistrust on both sides. But observers believe by securing the release of Taliban prisoners during its talks in Islamabad, the Council can hope to win some support among insurgent groups in Afghanistan.

    You May Like

    Can EU Survive a Brexit?

    Across Europe politicians are asking if the British vote to leave the European Union will set in motion dynamics that will see other member states leave too

    Video Entrepreneurs Tackle Sexual Harassment, Rural Health Care at Global Summit

    VOA talks to enterprising business people from India, Nigeria, Myanmar about their programs to help their respective countries overcome obstacles

    Key African Anti-Venom About to Permanently Run Out

    The tale of Fav-Afrique’s demise is a complicated one that reflects a deeper crisis brewing in global public health

    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.
    Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Marketsi
    X
    June 24, 2016 10:43 AM
    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Markets

    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    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.
    Video

    Video During Ramadan, Faith and Football Converge in Lebanon’s Megadome

    In Beirut, a group of young entrepreneurs has combined its Muslim faith and love of football to create the city's newest landmark: a large, Ramadan-ready dome primed for one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments in the world. But as the faithful embrace the communal spirit of Islam’s holy month, it is not just those breaking their fasts that are welcome.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora