Pakistan on Saturday announced the release of seven senior Afghan Taliban figures to help the peace process in war-torn neighbour Afghanistan, the foreign ministry said.
Pakistan announced the release Saturday, just days after Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Islamabad to discuss the peace negotiations.
The releases are in addition to 26 Taliban detainees released during the last year.
Afghan leaders have long alleged that neighboring Pakistan shelters top Taliban commanders and that the country\’s spy agency, ISI, helps the insurgents plan cross-border attacks on local and U.S.-led coalition forces. Pakistan denies the allegations.
Pakistan says it helped more than two dozen Taliban representatives travel to Qatar to open a political office in June as part of a U.S. peace plan to give the insurgency an address where they can engage in talks.
But the fanfare surrounding the opening ceremony and a proposed direct meeting between the Taliban and American officials upset President Karzai and provoked him to boycott the peace process.
Afghan authorities have now demanded Pakistan use the same influence to facilitate a direct meeting between Taliban representatives and members of the Afghan Peace Council.