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Ex-Taliban envoy rules out involvement of Pak in Afghan peace talks

Islamabad, Wed, 25 Jan 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Jan 25 (ANI): Former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef has voiced his support for the US-Taliban talks, but strongly opposed the involvement of 'neighbouring countries' like India, Pakistan and Iran.


"If Pakistan is involved in the talks, then Iran, India and other neighbours will also want to have a say in the process. Afghans cannot afford such rivalries. Afghans must make decisions independently and all countries should extend diplomatic support to the Afghan peace process," The Express Tribune quoted Zaeef, as saying.


"Afghans are passing through a difficult phase and if other countries enter the dialogue process at this stage, then the process would not produce tangible results," he added.


He, however, insisted that Afghans expected the peace process to move forward.


It was reported earlier this week that Afghan officials had expressed frustration about the character of the negotiations among the United States, Afghanistan, and the Taliban, insisting that they feel sidelined and misled.


If we continue this way, we're doomed, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's deputy national security adviser Shaida M. Abdali had said.


Senior Afghan officials, who agreed in principle to early talks between U.S. envoys and the Taliban, believe American diplomats have overplayed their hand, making tentative concessions that Karzai opposes thus creating distrust that could cripple the peace effort, a senior Karzai adviser insisted.


The Afghan government is now operating from a position of deep suspicion, he added. (ANI)


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