Pak keen to 'facilitate' Afghan peace talks with Taliban

Brussels, Oct 15 (ANI): Pakistan is willing to facilitate the ongoing reconciliation talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, as stability in Afghanistan is in Islamabad's interests, the country's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has stated.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Qureshi said that although reconciliation had to be an Afghan-led initiative, Pakistan was willing to assist the efforts by its neighbouring country, the Dawn reported.

"They have to own it, they have to lead it. We are there to help. We are there to facilitate. Because we want to see a stable peaceful Afghanistan. It's in Pakistan's interest to have stability and peace in Afghanistan," he stated.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had stressed that Pakistan had an essential role to play in the Afghan reconciliation process if there was to be any prospect of peace.

"Nothing will happen without us, because we are a part of the solution, we are not a part of the problem," he had stated.

Meanwhile, a senior NATO official said that the military alliance was already assisting Afghan President Hamid Karzai's approaches to senior Taliban leaders.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has also said that Washington would do "whatever it takes" to get the peace process on track.

"We have always acknowledged that reconciliation has to be part of the solution in Afghanistan and we will do whatever we can to support this process," Gates said. (ANI)

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