Afghan peace delegation to arrive in Pakistan on Jan 5

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Islamabad, Jan 3(ANI): An Afghan delegation is scheduled to arrive on a three-day visit to Islamabad on January 5, as part of the Afghanistan Government's efforts to broker peace with the Taliban.

Former Afghanistan President Burhanuddin Rabbani is set to lead a delegation from the Afghan High Council for Peace.

Backed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the High Peace Council intends to open a dialogue with insurgents who have been trying to bring down his government since the US-led invasion overthrew the Taliban regime in late 2001.

Pakistan says it is an 'exploratory' visit, and an opportunity to hear 'first hand' what Afghan leaders have in mind, in their effort to bring back peace to this land locked neighbour of Islamabad, The News reports.

Neither Rabbani nor officials in Islamabad have ruled out the possibility of including Taliban in these peace talks.

"We want these talks to be led by the Afghans themselves. We want the process to be broad-based, inclusive, Afghan-owned and Afghan-led," a Foreign Office spokesman said from Peshawar.

"We are looking forward to intensive discussions with the delegation and Prof Rabbani. Pakistan will continue to support and help in whatever way the Afghanistan government wants us to help," the spokesman added.

It is noteworthy that in October 2010, Gilani 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 stated. (ANI)

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