Kayani rubbishes reports about organising 'secret' Karzai-Haqqani meeting

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Islamabad, July 2 (ANI): Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has rubbished media reports of him organising a secret meeting between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Haqqani network commander Sirajuddin Haqqani in Kabul last month.

A statement issued by the army said that General Kayani went to Kabul to discuss issues of 'mutual interest' with Karzai.

"General Ashfaq Kayani has said that during his last two visits to Kabul, he met President Karzai to discuss issues of mutual interest," The Daily Times quoted the statement, as saying.

During both meetings, former NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal was also present, the statement added without mentioning the venue of the meeting.

"This transparent trilateral engagement augurs well for the comfort level of the leadership of all prime stake holders and strengthens the existing relationship," the statement said.

It may be noted that the Al-Jazeera television channel quoting sources had reported that General Kayani and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Shuja Pasha had accompanied Haqqani to the secret meeting with Karzai late last month.

Karzai's office has already denied holding any such meeting.

While US officials have acknowledged that reconciliation with some top ranking Taliban fighters will most likely be a necessity for peace, they have strongly objected to any power-sharing deal with such Afghan Taliban leaders as Sirajuddin Haqqani and his father, Jalaluddin, or with the Taliban warlord Mullah Muhammad Omar.

On the other hand, Islamabad and President Hamid Karzai are of the view that with the United States scheduled to begin pulling out of Afghanistan next year, it is necessary to work out a coalition involving the Taliban. (ANI)

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