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Afghan President Ends Pakistan Visit

Visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) is flanked by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as he adjusts his cap in Islamabad on August 26.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has completed a visit to Pakistan, where he held two days of talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif about bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table with Afghanistan's peace council.

Karzai on August 27 also repeated his request for Pakistan to release detained Taliban leaders considered by Kabul as potential negotiating partners.

The Afghan leader wants Pakistan to use its influence to encourage the Taliban to join peace talks -- a move Taliban leaders have rejected.

Pakistan previously released 26 Taliban prisoners at Kabul's request.

Karzai originally planned to stay in Pakistan only one day. Karzai arrived in Islamabad on August 26.

On the first day, Karzai said he and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif discussed ways to work together to combat "terrorism" and advance the peace process.

Karzai had been expected to ask Islamabad to use its influence to convince Taliban leaders to join peace talks with an Afghan peace commission.

Sharif said their talks focused on common challenges and "huge opportunities" for their countries.

The two men also reportedly pledged to work more closely together to reinforce trade, energy, and communication links -- including specific highway projects and a joint dam project.

His extended talks with Sharif included a working lunch in the town of Murree, north of Islamabad.

Karzai's office says Sharif accepted Karzai's invitation to visit Kabul.

Details on that visit are being worked out through diplomatic channels.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP

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