Pakistan’s role in peace talks crucial: Karzai | Pakistan Today

Pakistan’s role in peace talks crucial: Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday deemed Pakistan’s role in peace talks as crucial and stressed that without the country’s participation, no peace talks would be fruitful.

Addressing a joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Afghan president further said that certain members of Taliban had shown willingness to hold peace talks with the government and its peace council.

“We know that the Taliban wants to talk to the Afghan government and the Afghan High Peace Council,” Karzai said.

The Afghan leader said he would leave for an official trip to Qatar in the next few days to hold talks with Qatari leaders over opening a Taliban liaison office there.

Kerry, who arrived earlier in the day for a surprise visit to the war-torn country, said that the US and the Afghan government shared the same views over peace talks with the Taliban and that there were no disagreements between the two countries over the issue.

However, Kerry reiterated that the Afghan government would not allow the successes of the past decade to be reversed in any peace efforts.

Praising Afghanistan’s efforts for holding a free, fair and inclusive presidential election next year, the top US diplomat said the country would continue to support Afghanistan even after majority of foreign combat troops had left the country at the end of 2014.

Earlier, Kerry and Karzai had discussed a number of issues, including the war on terror and the security transition from US and NATO troops to Afghan forces as well as the proposed Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Kabul and Washington.

Furthermore, the US military handed over a key US-run detention center to Afghan army, putting an end to a source of tension between Kabul and its main ally Washington.