Pakistan to talk counter-terrorism with US, Afghan

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Terrorists
Washington, Sept 21: Pakistan will soon hold confidential talks with the US and Afghanistan to improve a three-way counter-terrorism relationship beset by misunderstandings, including one over the Pakistan-based Haqqani network that Washington considers the greatest threat to Afghan stability, the country's foreign minister has said.

But Hina Rabbani Khar refused to say whether her government was ready to take any action against the Haqqani militants. In an interview, the Pakistani foreign minister said senior officials from the three countries have been instructed to come up with a strategy for repairing cooperation that has suffered since US-Pakistani relations collapsed a year and half ago.

That chill in relations was brought on by a CIA contractor's killing of two Pakistanis, the unilateral US raid on Osama bin Laden's compound inside Pakistan and the accidental killing of 24 Pakistani troops in November by NATO forces.

A key element of the talks will be to determine which militant groups can be persuaded to lay down their arms as part of an Afghan peace treaty a crucial if so far lagging part of the US strategy to stabilise the country as it withdraws forces over the next two years.

"This has to be a joint effort to determine who is a threat ... to determine how do we deal with those who are a threat, and how do we bring in those which are not," Khar who was in Washington on her first official visit since being appointed Pakistan's top diplomat last year told AP.

AFP

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