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Senate supports Karzai's remarks on Pakistan

Senate supports Karzai's remarks on Pakistan

Oct 02, 2011 - 18:48

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A number of Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon members on Sunday backed President Hamid Karzai's recent remarks that reconciliation talks be held with the Pakistaninfo-icon government, not Talibaninfo-icon.

It was important to discuss the issue of rebel safe havens with Islamabad to have peace and stability in Afghanistaninfo-icon, President Hamid Karzai told the National Ulema Council on Friday.

Karzai's remarks came less than two weeks after the assassination of the government's chief peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani. The ex-president was killed in a suicide attack on his residence on September 20.

National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon) officials say that the plot was hatched in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province.

A dialogue with Pakistan, instead of Taliban, would yield better results, hoped Gulalai Akbari, a senator from Badakhshan, Rabbani's native province.

Pakistan, which created problem for Afghanistan because of its own interests in the region, was a sanctuary for insurgents, and the problem could only be resolved through talks, she said.

Such a step should have been taken much earlier, remarked Sifatullah Haqmal, a lawmaker from central Logar province. "If Pakistan really wants stability in Afghanistan, peace is possible within 10 days," he believed.

Senator Abdul Hanan Haqwayun, from southeastern Paktia province, said parleys with Pakistan would be more fruitful. He accused Iran of trying to promote its own interests in Afghanistan.

Intervention from neighbours, who supported militants, was Afghanistan's main problem, remarked Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, the first deputy chairman. The Karzai government needed to change its policy, he suggested.

Separately, the Coalition for Change and Hope asked the government to be careful in holding talks with Pakistan. "The joint Afghan-Pakistan peace commission is acceptable, but there is a need for panel comprised of government, political parties and civil societyinfo-icon representatives."

A statement from the main opposition alliance said it doubted Karzai's remarks. Its leader Abdullah Abdullah was quoted as saying: "It could possibly be a tactic to placate enraged public sentiments against him."

It asked whether talks with Pakistan would be on the diplomatic plane or government-to-government and institution-to-institution levels.


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