Pakistan Says Willing to Push Afghan Insurgents Towards Peace

Posted February 2nd, 2012 at 7:35 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan says it is willing to push Afghan insurgents to make peace, if asked to do so by the Afghan government.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told reporters in Islamabad Thursday that “we are willing to do whatever the Afghans want or expect.”

Khar made the comments a day after visiting Afghanistan, where she met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and pledged Pakistan's support for the Afghan peace process.

Pakistan is seen as a key player in that process because of its historical ties to the Taliban. Many of the Afghan insurgent group's leaders are believed to be based in Pakistan.

Following talks with President Karzai Wednesday, Foreign Minister Khar said Pakistan has no “hidden agenda” in Afghanistan. She also said that Pakistan stands strongly behind political efforts to end the war in neighboring Afghanistan, but that the process should be led and driven by the Afghans.

Khar's visit to Kabul was aimed at mending strained relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghan officials have accused militants from Pakistan of fomenting violence in Afghanistan with the goal of disrupting the peace process.

Afghan officials have said last year's suicide attack that killed the country's key peacemaker, former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, was planned in Pakistan and carried out by a Pakistani citizen. Pakistan has denied any involvement in Mr. Rabbani's killing.

On Wednesday, Pakistan dismissed a leaked NATO report that accused its military intelligence agency, the ISI, of supporting the Afghan Taliban. The classified report was compiled from the interrogations of 4,000 captured Taliban and al-Qaida operatives.