Karzai's Pakistan visit ends in 'muted disappointment': Report

Washington, Aug. 28 (ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai's two-day visit to Pakistan ended in muted disappointment.

No agreements or specific statements on the key issues of Taliban peace talks, prisoner releases or insurgent sanctuaries were made.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, welcoming Karzai for the first time since taking office in June, spoke warmly of relations between the two Muslim neighbors.

Sharif also reiterated in several statements that Pakistan is committed to Afghanistan's peace and security.

According to the Washington Post, Karzai said the two leaders discussed how to work together to fight terrorism and advance the peace process.

Karzai had also been expected to ask for the release of jailed Taliban leaders who might join in talks, especially Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was arrested in 2010 in a joint operation by Pakistani and U.S. intelligence teams.

The report said that even though the Afghan president's visit was extended by one day and concluded with lunch in a breezy hilltop resort, Sharif and other Pakistani officials made no public offers to help restart talks with the Taliban or to release any Taliban prisoners.

As Karzai flew back to Kabul on Tuesday afternoon, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry issued a bland statement saying that in cordial talks, 'both sides had reaffirmed their commitment to deepen and broaden' bilateral relations and "agreed to work together for the promotion of peace and reconciliation" in Afghanistan.

According to the report, analysts in Pakistan suggested that the Afghan leader had pinned unrealistic hopes on Sharif, who said recently that Pakistan needed to "think afresh" about Afghanistan and sent his senior security adviser to Kabul to invite Karzai to Islamabad.

Karzai has often accused Pakistan of providing shelter and support for Islamist insurgents and of seeking to undermine Afghanistan's stability.

He has visited Pakistan at least 18 times as president since 2002 but has always failed to secure meaningful cooperation in fighting terrorism or reining in the Taliban, the report added. (ANI)

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