26 Feb 2012

Taliban urged to hold direct talks with Afghan govt

9:23 am on 26 February 2012

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan has urged the Afghan Taliban to hold direct peace talks with the Afghan government.

Mr Gilani said he hoped the Taliban and other groups would respond to his appeal. The BBC reports there is no word yet from the Taliban.

Correspondents say this is the first time Pakistan has made such an appeal.

Pakistan has long standing ties with the Afghan Taliban.

A statement issued by Mr Gilani said he made the appeal after being asked to by President Hamid Karzai, who visited Pakistan last week.