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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Afghan High Peace Council
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is pushing Pakistan to release more Taliban prisoners, including the group's deputy leader, in a move aimed at reviving peace talks with the militants, despite concern within his own administration that the battle-hardened Islamists could rejoin a decadelong insurgency that seeks to topple the government in Kabul.
Pakistan released eight members of the Afghan Taliban from prison on Monday, including the former justice minister under the Taliban, in a bid to boost the peace process in neighboring Afghanistan, the government said.
Afghan government representatives have met with a top-ranking Taliban member in his prison cell in Pakistan, an official said Sunday, suggesting a small step toward reopening stalled peace talks with the insurgent group.
U.S., Afghan and Taliban officials this week have offered contradicting accounts about the purpose of the Taliban establishing an office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
NATO forces captured two key insurgent leaders in Afghanistan, while a service member was killed in a deadly bombing that raised to three the number of coalition troops killed since the new year began, the multinational alliance said Sunday.