Pakistan, Afghanistan Share Vision on Taliban

Pakistan is taking into serious consideration the possibility of backing the nascent Afghan peace process and transforming the Taliban insurgency into a political movement, a senior Afghan government official told Reuters. The official, who is involved in reconciliation efforts, said recent talks between senior Taliban members and Afghan officials in France were "enormously helpful" in constructing an environment to help get the peace process underway. "They share the vision contained in our roadmap which is basically to transform the Taliban from a military entity into a political entity to enable them to take part in the Afghan political process," the Afghan official said. His remarks signaled unprecedented optimism that Pakistan was willing to broach reconciliation efforts. Pakistan is seen as critical to U.S. and Afghan efforts to stabilize the country before most NATO combat troops withdraw b the end of 2014. Meanwhile, Pakistan's army chief has made reconciliation between warring factions in Afghanistan a top priority, Pakistani military officials told Reuters.

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