Pakistan can play key role in talks with Taliban: Karzai
BERLIN (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday conceded that Pakistan could play a crucial role in the success of his government's peace campaign, particularly in terms of persuading the Taliban to come to the negotiating table.
Afghanistan and Pakistan, which stayed away from the 2nd Bonn Conference, should work closely together to deal with their shared security concerns, the president told a joint press conference with the German chancellor.
While acknowledging the importance of Islamabad's role in talks with the Afghan insurgents, the president said he was trying to involve the neighbouring country in the reconciliation effort.
"Unfortunately, Pakistan is suffering due to Taliban's sanctuaries on its soil. Without addressing the issue and working together for a comprehensive understanding of our problems, we will not see peace in the region," he remarked.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the twin bomb attacks in Kabul and the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. She extended her condolences to Karzai and said the blasts highlighted the need for joint efforts at bringing security to Afghanistan.
At least 64 people, mostly Shiite mourners were killed in the bombings and more than 160 others were wounded. The victims included women and children.
Late on Monday night, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle made a phone call to his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar to take her into confidence on the outcome of the conference.
Pakistan would continue supporting peace and development in Afghanistan, especially toward achieving political reconciliation, he hoped.
Khar assured him Pakistan would study the Bonn declaration and praised Germany’s contributions in bringing peace to Afghanistan. Stability in Afghanistan held the key to peace in the entire region, she said.
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