'Left-out-Pak' desperate for role in ongoing Afghan-Taliban reconciliation talks

Written by: Mamatha
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Islamabad, Oct 22(ANI): Pakistan has claimed that there has been no communication from the United States or Afghanistan about the ongoing reconciliation talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Pakistan's chief military spokesperson General Athar Abbas also said that Pakistan has not been informed of any developments on the issue.

"If they're going to make the same mistake, let them do it," the Wall Street Journal quoted Abbas, as saying, referring to previous efforts that left Pakistan out of the loop and went nowhere.

"We would like to be part of it," he added.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had earlier said that Pakistan is willing to facilitate the talks with Taliban, as stability in Afghanistan is in Islamabad's interests.

"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. Its in Pakistan's interest to have stability and peace in Afghanistan," Qureshi had said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had also 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.

Earlier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai had confirmed that contact has been going on unofficially "for quite some time" to try to end the nine-year war.

"We have been talking to the Taliban as countryman to countryman, talk in that manner," Karzai told CNN's Larry King when asked about a Washington Post report on secret high-level talks between the two sides.

"Not as a regular official contact with the Taliban with a fixed address but rather unofficial personal contacts have been going on for quite some time," he added.

According to reports, secret talks were being held involving the Afghan government and representatives authorized by the Quetta Shura, the Afghan Taliban group based in Pakistan, and Taliban leader Mullah Omar. (ANI)

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