Michael's Feed
Feb 24, 2012

Pakistan urges Afghan Taliban to enter peace talks

By Michael Georgy

(Reuters) – Pakistan on Friday urged leaders of the Afghan Taliban movement to enter direct peace negotiations with the Kabul government, a possible sign that Islamabad is stepping up support for reconciliation in neighboring Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said in a statement that it was his “sincere hope” that the Taliban and other groups respond to the appeal.

Feb 18, 2012

Afghanistan hopeful of Pakistan’s help in peace drive

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Afghanistan is optimistic that regional power Pakistan will help the Kabul government advance a reconciliation process with the Taliban, the Afghan president’s spokesman said on Saturday.

Pakistan, seen as crucial to efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, has repeatedly said it wants peace in its neighbor.

Feb 13, 2012

Will Pakistan’s steady hand Gilani survive?

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, indicted by the Supreme Court on Monday, was once seen as a shrewd operator with the best chance of bringing stability to Pakistan.

The soft-spoken figure tiptoed through Pakistan’s political minefields and at times acted as a troubleshooter – charming opposition leaders over tea or a meal to take the heat off the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Feb 1, 2012

U.N. pushes ambitious Afghan refugees plan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – More than $1 billion in international aid is needed to ensure that conditions are right for millions of Afghan refugees to return to their troubled homeland, the senior U.N. official for refugees said on Wednesday.

“I think there are problems of governance, there are problems of economic development, there are problems of security,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told Reuters in an interview.

Jan 19, 2012

Pakistan-U.S. ties on hold for “re-evaluation”

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s ties with the United States remain on hold following a NATO cross-border air attack, its foreign minister said on Thursday, and Washington should not push Islamabad to go after militant groups or bring them to the Afghan peace process.

“Now that the re-evaluation process is under way as we speak, so till the time that that re-evaluation process is not complete, we cannot start the re-engagement,” Hina Rabbani Khar said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

Jan 19, 2012

Exclusive: Pakistan-U.S. ties on hold for “evaluation”

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s ties with the United States remain on hold following a NATO cross-border air attack, the country’s foreign minister said, and Washington should not push Islamabad to go after militant groups or bring them to the Afghan peace process.

“Now that the re-evaluation process is underway as we speak, so till the time that that re-evaluation process in not complete, we cannot start the re-engagement,” Hina Rabbani Khar said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

Jan 19, 2012

Pakistan to re-open NATO route, Taliban talks falter

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan expects to re-open supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan, halted after a NATO cross-border air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, but will impose tariffs, a senior security official told Reuters Thursday.

The move suggests tensions with the United States and NATO have eased, but more progress is needed for the kind of cooperation necessary to fight militancy in the border region which U.S. President Barack Obama has called the world’s most dangerous place.

Jan 19, 2012

Peace talks between Pakistan and Taliban faltering – official

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Exploratory peace talks between Pakistan and al Qaeda-linked Taliban insurgents have made little progress, a senior security official told Reuters on Thursday.

The official said the group, seen as the biggest security threat to the strategic U.S. ally, had flatly rejected a demand that it work through tribal elders to reach a deal whereby fighters approach authorities and lay down their arms.

Jan 19, 2012

Peace talks between Pakistan and Taliban

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Exploratory peace talks between Pakistan and al Qaeda-linked Taliban insurgents have made little progress, a senior security official told Reuters on Thursday.

The official said the group, seen as the biggest security threat to the strategic U.S. ally, had flatly rejected a demand that it work through tribal elders to reach a deal whereby fighters approach authorities and lay down their arms.

Jan 13, 2012

Embattled Pakistan president lobbies for support

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – President Asif Ali Zardari’s ruling party lobbied coalition partners on Friday for a vote of support as the government faces the most intense pressure from the powerful military since a 1999 coup.

One of Zardari’s allies introduced a resolution in parliament which places “full confidence and trust” in the political leadership of the nuclear armed South Asian state.