Nov. 30 - Pakistan's Prime Minister promises to help arrange further meetings between Afghan officials and a former Taliban commander. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offers a helping hand in Afghanistan Saturday pledging to help revive a defunct peace process. Sharif's pledge follows a breakthrough last month between the two countries after a long history of distrust. Sharif said he would help arrange further meetings between Afghan officials and a former Taliban commander. He confirmed that Pakistan released the insurgent group's former second-in-command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, in September. Afghan officials had been calling for his release for years in the hope he may still retain enough influence within the Taliban to help rekindle peace talks. SOUNDBITE: Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, Saying: "Mullah Baradar has been released. We have discussed this matter at length today and we jointly have agreed on a mechanism and we will see that it is properly implemented. And anybody who is sent by the President to Pakistan to talk to Mullah Baradar, we will carry out the instructions given to us by the President and we will make sure that such meetings would take place." Since 2010 Karzai has pursued peace talks with the Taliban, who have led an insurgency since they were ousted from power by U.S.-led forces in 2001.