Taliban operates from Pakistan: Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai today said that Pakistan has a key role to play in his government`s peace talks with the Taliban because the militant group operates from there.

Updated: Dec 19, 2011, 13:39 PM IST

Washington: Afghan President Hamid Karzai
today said that Pakistan has a key role to play in his government`s peace talks with the Taliban because the militant group operates from there.

"They operate from there. And a meaningful peace process
cannot go well or end in satisfactory results without
Pakistan`s participation and help," Karzai told reporters.

Karzai, however, said he could not hold peace talks with
Taliban unless the militants produce a verifiable authorised
representative.

He said the assassination of former president and peace
negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani was a major setback to the
peace process.

"Well, our efforts for peace, our cries for peace, our
understanding of peace was that we were talking to Taliban.
The assassination of President Rabbani brought us in a shock
to the recognition that we were actually talking to nobody,
that those who came in the name of the peace process were
assassins, were killers," he said.

Rabbani was killed at his home in Kabul in September by a
bomber who hid explosives in his turban, and who had purported
to be a peace emissary from the Taliban leadership.

"A man who came in the name of a messenger for peace
turned out to be a suicide bomber. Therefore, we have now
clearly said that we will welcome - a Taliban address, but
that address must have the clarity that this representative is
authorised and is representing the Taliban movement as we see
it," he said.

Karzai also said that Pakistan-based Sunni terror group
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was responsible for the recent sectarian
violence in Afghanistan that claimed around 100 lives.

"We say that this is Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. If it is
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, then perhaps it`s the responsibility of
Pakistan, and of all of us together to go and stop this," he
said.

PTI