Gilani urges Taliban to take part in peace talks with Afghan government

Published: February 24, 2012
Gilani said in a statement that it is his "sincere hope" that the Taliban and other groups respond to his appeal. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Gilani said in a statement that it is his "sincere hope" that the Taliban and other groups respond to his appeal. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday called on Taliban leaders and other Afghan insurgent groups to take part in a peace process to end 10 years of war in neighbouring Afghanistan.

“I would like to appeal to the Taliban leadership as well as to all other Afghan groups, including Hizb-e-Islami, to participate in an intra-Afghan process for national reconciliation and peace,” he said in a statement.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week again invited the Taliban for direct talks with his government, urging Pakistan to facilitate negotiation efforts in Afghanistan, where US-led combat troops are due to leave by 2014.

Taliban representatives have begun contacts with US officials in the Gulf state of Qatar designed to build confidence and pave the way for a prisoner exchange, but the militia has publicly refused to talk to Karzai’s government.

Pakistan says it will do anything required by Kabul to support an Afghan-led peace process, but there is a wide degree of scepticism in Afghanistan and the United States about the sincerity of the former Taliban ally.

“It is now time to turn a new leaf and open a new chapter in the history of Afghanistan… to build peace and bring prosperity to Afghanistan” said Gilani.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 24, 2012 - 2:26PM

    Taliban want to rule Afghanistan once again.

    The day they will come back in power, peace will be restored in Afghanistan.


  • Zalmai
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:23PM

    Taliban are not coming back to power, if anything they will form a coalition government and settle on some form of power sharing. The progressive people of Afghanistan cannot stomach these foreign trolls and their alien ideology.


  • Feb 24, 2012 - 7:06PM

    All Taliban Groups should be involved in negotiations process


  • Isloo
    Feb 25, 2012 - 12:19AM

    Mr. PM do the peoples of Pakistan believes in you?? that Afghani’s would listen to you :P


  • Khattak
    Feb 25, 2012 - 2:34AM

    MR. Prime Minister, look before you leap. Ask for permission from GHQ, then issue statement on Foreign policy or Baluchistan.


  • aceleaf
    Feb 25, 2012 - 4:28AM

    Taliban are legacy of ‘baccha saqqa’. Pakistan wants to use them as proxy. Thats not possible. At his best Mullah Omer was unable to show his face to world.


  • Feb 25, 2012 - 1:12PM

    Taliban will do as they wish. They are fighting US+its aliies. Now they are trying face-saving tactics -table talk!
    If there are no Mir Jafar & Sadiq – Pakistani Leaders – Taliban could have in much better position!
    US its allies + Pakistani Mir Jafar & Sadiq face the music? Tit for tat?


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