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Afghan Officials Give Contradictory Accounts Of Reported Taliban Meeting

By RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal
ISLAMABAD -- Afghan officials have given contradictory responses to reports that an Afghan delegation met two months ago with imprisoned former Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan.

Muhammad Ismail Qasimyar, a member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, confirmed the reports, telling AFP the meeting focused on possible peace talks.

However, Zardhasht Shams, a spokesman for the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad, told RFE/RL that "no such meeting has taken place."

Baradar is the most important detained Taliban leader and was a trusted aide to Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar.

When he was arrested in 2010 in Pakistan, Kabul said his detention had adversely affected efforts to talk with the insurgents.

Qasimyar said Kabul had asked Islamabad to release Baradar "because he has shown interest in peace talks."

With reporting by AFP and AP
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Comment Sorting
by: Ben from: Islamabad
August 13, 2012 20:50
Pakistan has always tried to have a stable and peaceful Afghanistan and has had access to Afghan Taliban in order to wield its influence for the future peace in Afghanistan. This could be the reason that both the Taliban and Pakistani forces never attacked each other. TTP, however, is a different story and is known to have links with anti-Pakistan elements in India and Afghanistan. With the latest development where Pakistan has played a critical role in bridging the gap between Afghan government, Pakistan has achieved a moral high ground and vindicated its long-standing position of not attacking the Taliban under the US pressure. However, the peace in Afghanistan is still a far cry. Increased influence of India in Afghanistan will be a catalyst in perpetuating the chaos because despite their recent reported overtures to India, the Taliban will not accept Indian influence in Afghanistan. Read more at:

by: William from: Aragon
August 14, 2012 00:10
"Reuters news agency cited Afghan national security adviser Rangin Spanta as saying the talks were held in Pakistan two months ago." - RFERL report yesterday. You folks need to find more credible sources of information.

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