Pakistan Wants In on Afghan Peace Talks With Taliban

Could offer reconciliation with lethal branch of militants
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2010 7:05 AM CST
Pakistan's Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, right, meets US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010.   (AP Photo/Inter Services Public Relations department)
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(Newser) – As the US and Afghanistan mull reconciliation with the Taliban as a way to wind down the war, Pakistan wants a role in potential peace talks. The Pakistanis would bring to the table their influence over the Haqqanis, a particularly lethal Taliban branch that is fighting against allied soldiers in Afghanistan, the New York Times reports.

In exchange for curbing Haqqani violence, Pakistan hopes for a friendly Afghan government and checks on the growing influence of rival India in Afghanistan. The US is still considering whether including Pakistan in the Afghanistan endgame would serve its interests, but will discuss the possibility of Pakistani involvement when national security adviser Gen. James Jones visits Islamabad this week.

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