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Afghanistan Urges Pakistan To Take Steps For Peace

October 02, 2011

The Afghan government has urged neighboring Pakistan to take concrete steps to help end the Taliban insurgency.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai said that in particular, Afghanistan wants its neighbor's help in the "facilitation of direct negotiations with the Taliban leadership and with any other insurgent leaders who are prepared to join the Afghan national reconciliation process."

The appeal follows accusations that Pakistan, through its historical ties with some of the militant groups, has played an active role in supporting attacks across the border on U.S. and Afghan targets -- a charge it denies.

Pakistan has denied the Afghan government's recent claim that the country's spy agency was involved in the assassination of Afghanistan's envoy for Taliban peace talks.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry called the allegation baseless and irresponsible in a statement issued on October 2. It called the envoy, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, Pakistan's friend.

Rabbani was killed by a suicide bomber as he was believed to have been carrying a message from insurgents.

Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has halted all peace talks with the Taliban ahead of his promised announcement of a new peace strategy.

The Afghan leader also called on Pakistan to do more to help end extremist violence, announcing on local television on September 30 that if "Pakistan doesn't help, then Afghanistan will go to international sources for an international investigation," adding "this is Afghanistan's right."

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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