Pakistani officials tonight are angrily denying allegations by former UN Special Representative Kai Eide that their arrests of several high ranking Taliban officials since February has disrupted peace talks between the UN and the Taliban.
Eide claimed in an interview to have repeatedly met with Taliban leaders during his term in office, including the so-called Quetta Shura, but that virtually all contact between the UN and the Afghan insurgency stopped when Pakistan started arresting its leadership. Eide added that Pakistan “must have known” that this would happen and said the Pakistani government wasn’t playing the role it should in the peace process.
Pakistani officials insist the captures were a “joint operation” with the US and had absolutely nothing to do with the peace process. The Foreign Ministry added that the nation was committed to the “re-integration” process.
Eide’s old nemesis Peter Galbraith has chimed in as well, claiming that Eide is “greatly exaggerating” the extent of the UN-Taliban talks. Galbraith, Eide’s former top aide, insisted that the meetings were rare and that “it was never clear where these people stood and what their connections were to the Taliban.”