Islamabad, Aug. 26 (Reuters): Afghan President Hamid Karzai today stressed the need for Pakistan’s help in arranging peace talks with the Taliban in a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who assured him of his support.
Pakistan backed the Taliban’s rise to power in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s and is seen as a crucial gatekeeper in attempts by the US and Afghan governments to contact insurgent leaders who fled to Pakistan after the group's 2001 ouster.
But Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan of playing a double game in the 12-year-old war, saying its neighbour, facing a Taliban insurgency of its own, makes pronouncements about peace, but allows elements of its military to play a spoiling role. Pakistan is keen to limit the influence of India in Afghanistan.
Karzai, who has close ties with India, said he had “primarily and with emphasis” asked the Pakistanis to help with reconciliation as most foreign troops prepare to leave Afghanistan.