(ISLAMABAD) — Islamabad is trying to say that comments made by a high-ranking Pakistani official that Afghanistan should share power with the Taliban never happened.
Earlier this week, Pakistani Deputy Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi reportedly said that there should be a power-sharing arrangement between Kabul and the Taliban as part of a peace talks “end game.”
The proposal was immediately rejected by the Afghan government, which has refused to even start negotiations with the Taliban after the group set up a headquarters in Doha, Qatar that allegedly makes it appear like a government in exile.
With relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan already tenuous, Pakistan’s Foreign Office, in a statement on its official website, denied its deputy foreign minister made the remarks, claiming, “This is a fabrication as no such notions have been expressed by any Pakistani official.”
The U.S. sees Pakistan’s cooperation as crucial in a post-war Afghanistan, especially after coalition forces leave the country next year.
However, both sides still regard the other suspiciously, with Pakistan worried that a destabilized Afghanistan will cause more problems for its country once the U.S. and NATO withdraw their armies.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, Holly Yan and Euan McKirdy, CNN Newswire
Euan McKirdy and Natalie L. Gallón, CNN