Afghanistan says Pakistan will help in peace talks
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A top Afghan peace mediator hailed Pakistan's recent decision to free nine members of the Taliban who favor negotiations, saying Saturday it was a sign Islamabad is willing to help bring the militant group to the table and end Afghanistan's 11-year-old war.
The cooperation of Pakistan, which has longstanding ties to the Taliban, is seen as key to jumpstarting the stalled Afghan peace process. The Afghan and U.S. governments accuse Islamabad of backing insurgents — an allegation Pakistan denies — and say many militant leaders are hiding in the country.
Afghanistan needs Pakistan's help in reaching out to top Taliban leaders, but still insists that peace talks be led by Afghans, saying it will fight those who try to interfere.
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