Pakistan Trying to Revive Afghanistan-Taliban Talks

Pakistan Trying to Revive Afghanistan-Taliban TalksPakistan Trying to Revive Afghanistan-Taliban Talks

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says his country is engaged in fresh efforts to revive stalled peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

The peace process, which is aimed at ending the 13-year-long insurgency in the war-torn country, was suspended by the Taliban following news in July of the death of the group’s longtime leader, Mullah Omar–a development that reportedly led to an internecine power struggle within the group, World Bulletin reported.

“I don’t know why two years after his [i.e., Omar’s] death, the news was only broken when talks were underway,” Sharif was quoted as saying on Sunday by local English-language daily Dawn.

“We worked hard to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. But when talks were underway, news of Mullah Omar’s death surfaced, leading to the suspension of negotiations.”

“Now we are trying again to persuade the Taliban to join the talks [again],” the prime minister was quoted as saying.

Pakistan, which is thought by some to enjoy a degree of influence over the Afghan Taliban, had arranged direct talks between the two sides in July near its capital, Islamabad.

The Taliban, however, later withdrew from the planned round of talks.

Meanwhile, a military helicopter has crashed at the NATO base in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing five coalition members and injuring five others, authorities have said.

The helicopter crashed while landing at the NATO headquarters, the military coalition said, ruling out any insurgent activity behind the incident.