'Afghan reconciliation talks with Taliban in "final stage"'

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Kabul, Dec 4(ANI): The Afghan Government's reconciliation efforts with the Taliban have "reached the final stage", and serious negotiations between the two sides are likely to commence soon.

"The three-phased reconciliation process has reached the final stage-the negotiations part," the Dawn quoted a senior official, who has been following the process, as saying in a background interview on Friday.

The other two phases, comprising setting up of a peace council and establishing contacts with the Taliban, have already been completed.

"Contacts have been made with all shades of Taliban," said the official, when asked if such contacts were limited to moderate elements.

He said that contacts with the Taliban were made with Pakistan's help, even though Pakistanis officially said the roadmap for reconciliation had not been shared by Kabul with them.

The official also quoted Afghan Peace Council Chief Burhanuddin Rabbani, as having said that he was ready to talk to the Taliban even if they did not accept the Afghan Constitution.

In January this year, Afghan President Hamid Karzai had unveiled a two-track ambitious plan to encourage foot soldiers of Afghan militancy to give up arms- broadly known as reintegration- and wooing back the movement's leaders through a reconciliationolicy.

The peace council was set up to implement reintegration and reconciliation strategies after tribal leaders endorsed the plans for engaging militants. (ANI)

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