(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
Laura Goehler, CNN
Laura Smith-Spark, Erin McLaughlin and Nina dos Santos, CNN
Holly Yan and Joe Sterling, CNN
Joe Sterling and Cassandra Santiago, CNN