Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has reportedly held a secret meeting with three Taliban leaders in an effort to weaken the Haqqani network.
Jalaluddin Haqqani, a commander in the 1980s Afghan war against the Soviets, leads the Haqqani movement.
The network, based in the North Waziristan’s tribal area along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, is thought to present one of the biggest threats to NATO and US forces in Afghanistan.
It maintains old links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
According to the Daily Times, the meeting, held in Kabul two weeks ago to contain the network, was attended by Maulvi Abdul Kabir, a wanted former Taliban governor, his deputy Sedre Azam and Anwarul Haq Mujahed, an imprisoned terrorist, who were flown to the Afghan capital from Peshawar.
Kabir was the governor of Nangarhar province during the Taliban rule and the current head of the Taliban’s Peshawar council, while Mujahed is a terrorist leader credited with helping Osama Bin Laden escape the US assault on Tora Bora in 2001.
Mujahed has been in Pakistani custody since June last year when he was picked up in a raid in Peshawar.
Washington and Kabul are reportedly seeking to capitalize on Kabir’s position in Afghanistan’s powerful and dominant Zadran tribe.
An Afghan official said that the US and Afghanistan governments want to try and sap some of Haqqani’s tribal-based strength by bringing Kabir on board and dividing tribal loyalties.
Karzai has formed a 70-member High Peace Council in an effort to try to reconcile with the Taliban and find a political solution to the insurgency.