TOWDE KHABARE: Pakistan's Army Chief Makes Afghan Peace "Top Priority"

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Pakistan's powerful army chief has made reconciling the warring factions in Afghanistan a top priority, military officials and Western diplomats say, the newest and clearest sign yet that Islamabad means business in promoting peace with the Taliban, Reuters reported.

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General Ashfaq Kayani is backing dialogue partly due to fears that the end of the US combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014 could energize a resilient insurgency straddling the shared frontier, according to commanders deployed in the region.

"There was a time when we used to think we were the masters of Afghanistan. Now we just want them to be masters of themselves so we can concentrate on our own problems," said a senior Pakistani military officer stationed in South Waziristan, part of the tribal belt that hugs the Afghan border.

"Pakistan has the power to create the environment in which a grand reconciliation in Afghanistan can take place," he said, speaking in the gritty town of Wana, about 30 km (20 miles) from Afghanistan. "We have to rise to the challenge. And we are doing it, at the highest level possible."

In this episode of Towde Khabare, host Zabi Sadaat discusses the topic with the following guests:

• Mawlawi Shahzada Shahid, a member of High Peace Council

• Touryalai Safi, political analyst

• Osman Kamran, political analyst

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