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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs