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Pakistan to be consulted over Afghan-Taliban reconciliation process: Karzai

By Abdul Nisar

Islamabad, Sept 17 (ANI): Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has reassured Pakistan of its involvement in the Afghan reconciliation process with the Taliban and other Afghan warring factions.

Karzai told Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that Kabul would enter into consultations with Islamabad over the reconciliation process, the Dawn reports.

The message was common in his interaction with both civilian and military leaders in Islamabad, as the situation in Afghanistan and the political process for wooing back militants sprouted for discussions during the meetings.

The Afghan government is soon expected to announce a 35-member peace council, likely to be led by former mujahideen commander Burhanuddin Rabbani, as it has already discussed the council's composition with the Pakistan government.

Reiterating Pakistan's offer of support in the reconciliation process, Gilani said, "Pakistan has consistently stated that military operations alone cannot restore peace and stability. The international community should follow a holistic approach (in Afghanistan) by combining military, political and development strategies," adding, "It was for the people of Afghanistan themselves to decide their future," he said.

Pakistan has shown keen interest in the reconciliation process that could determine the political future of post-war Afghanistan.

It is noteworthy that the first batch of Afghan army officers has been nominated for training in Pakistan and one of the officers has already joined the Military Staff College.

Islamabad had long been pushing for a military and police training deal for neutralising the Indian influence on Afghan security forces. (ANI)

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