`Pakistan seeks Afghan talks over Taliban’
Afghanistan has accused Pakistan in the past of supporting the Taliban and associated militant groups.
Kabul: Pakistan has made overtures to Afghanistan to resume talks over the Taliban which broke down following the assassination of Kabul`s chief peace envoy, an official said on Sunday.
Relations between the neighbours are often tense and Kabul has accused Pakistan in the past of supporting the Taliban and associated militant groups that are waging a 10-year insurgency in Afghanistan.
Pakistan`s support is therefore seen as key to forging peace in the country.
"After Pakistan expressed readiness, the Afghan government has also agreed to resume the talks with Pakistan over the Taliban," Esmael Qasimyar, a senior member of the government-appointed High Peace Council, said.
Karzai accused Pakistan of responsibility for the murder of peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani in September and last month the Afghan President said Pakistan was sabotaging all negotiations with the Taliban.
A government official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Pakistan had recently sent a message through the Afghan ambassador to Islamabad saying that "Pakistan is willing to resume contacts and talks with Afghanistan".
He said Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was also planning to visit Afghanistan, but no dates had been set. Asked for comment, Karzai`s spokesman Aimal Faizi said: "Pakistan plays a key role in talks because the militants` leadership is believed to be in Pakistan.”
"We emphasise on good relations with Pakistan and hope that our relations improve, and we hope with the help of Pakistan our peace talks will resume."
The Taliban, ousted from power by a US-led invasion in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, announced earlier this month that they planned to set up a political office in Qatar ahead of possible talks with the United States.
Karzai`s government gave its blessing to that move as all sides eye a political solution to the conflict, but Kabul is reportedly wary of being sidelined in talks between the insurgents and Washington.