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Karzai Seeks Help from Pakistan's Pashtun Leaders

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is seeking help from influential Pashtun politicians in Pakistan in an effort to stem a growing Taleban insurgency.

Mr. Karzai is a Pashtun himself. He has sent letters to the leading pro-Taleban cleric and opposition leader Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and Pashtun nationalist leader Asfandayar Wali Khan. The letters urge them to help restore peace in southern Afghanistan.

Rehman heads a party of Islamic clerics that is part of the government in two Pakistani provinces bordering Afghanistan - North West Frontier Province, and Baluchistan.

There are some 40,000 NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But despite their presence, Taleban remnants have intensified their anti-government drive by using road-side explosive devices and suicide bombers.

Mr. Karzai often blames Pakistan for not doing enough to stop Taleban attackers from crossing over into Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.