Taliban arrests 'disrupt' UN talks

Former UN envoy says detentions of Taliban members in Pakistan thwarted secret talks.

    Eide said the UN had been holding talks with the Taliban since last spring [GALLO/GETTY]

    Pakistan criticised

    His comments came about a month after three senior Taliban officials were captured in Pakistan, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Brader, the Afghan Taliban's second-in-command.

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    Other senior Taliban commanders have also reportedly been captured in Pakistan recently.

    Eide said he thought that speculation Pakistan wanted to end the talks because it wanted to be in control of the process was probably correct.

    "The Pakistanis did not play the role they should have played. They must have known about this.

    "I don't believe these people were arrested by coincidence. They must have known who they were, what kind of role they were playing - and you see the result today."

    But Pakistan rejected the suggestion that it may have disrupted the talks.

    "The fact of the matter is that Mullah Brader's arrest was a joint operation with the US and had nothing to do with talks or reconciliation," the Reuters news agency reported, citing Abdul Basit, a spokesman for Pakistan's foreign ministry.

    Pakistan has long called for talks to end the Afghan war and Eide's comments were a misinterpretation of its aims, he said.

    "Pakistan is committed to support an Afghanistan-led re-integration and reconciliation process so any other contentions, we believe, are a misrepresentation and misinterpretation of our intentions," Basit said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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