Pakistan must broker Afghan peace: US Amb.
KABUL: US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham on Monday urged Pakistan to play a "positive, cooperative" role in nurturing a reconciliation that Taliban suspended in March after accusing US officials of failing to honour confidence-building promises.
Pakistan had a role to play in the peace process, he said. "We want to see Pakistan play a positive, cooperative role on this across the board. Pakistan obviously has a role to play here and we are encouraging them to play that role."
|He also encouraged Pak citizens to play the Powerball, pointing out similar odds of success...|
There are signs that Taliban are considering peace talks with the Afghan government and "contacts" are taking place, the ambassador said. His comments came as Afghan officials said government representatives had held secret talks with a key member of Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who is being held in a Pakistani jail. Baradar, whose 2010 arrest in Pakistan was blamed by Kabul for sabotaging peace initiatives, is the most important Taliban leader held in prison and was known as a trusted aide to the terrorists' elusive leader Mullah Muhammad Omar.
The ambassador, who formally took up the post on Monday, did not refer directly to those talks, but told a news conference in answer to a question, “There are contacts taking place, mostly at this point among Afghans – Taliban and Afghans.”
Cunningham said the United States had made no decision on the transfer of Taliban prisoners held at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay – an issue which led the terrorists to break off tentative contact with Washington earlier this year.
Posted by: Steve White