Karzai Meets Pakistani President Zardari

Category: World / Aug 26, 2013 3:20PM EDT

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, on a one-day official visit to Islamabad, called on his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari on Monday (August 26).

Earlier in the day, in a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister, Karzai stressed the need for Pakistan's help in arranging peace talks with the Taliban. Sharif assured him of his support.

Pakistan backed the Taliban's rise to power in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s and is seen as a crucial gatekeeper in attempts by the U.S. and Afghan governments to contact insurgent leaders who fled to Pakistan after the group's 2001 ouster.

Karzai wants Pakistan to help arrange contacts between the Taliban and the Afghan High Peace Council, the government body tasked with reconciliation, or release high-ranking Taliban prisoners.

The Taliban, fighting to expel foreign forces and impose Islamist rule, have refused to talk to Karzai, asccusing him of being an American puppet.

It is unclear whether the Afghan Taliban, in power from 1996 and 2001, will have a role in the next government.

Video Credit: Reuters