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Afghan endgame: Pakistan boycotts key peace meeting

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Faisal Mahmood/Reuters

(Read caption) Supporters of Mutahida Qabail Party (MQP) burn the NATO flag while shouting anti-American slogans during a protest rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday. Pakistan says it will boycott this weekend's international conference, which aims to chart out a strategy for Afghanistan, in response to the NATO strike.

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In response to the NATO strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on Nov. 26,  Pakistan says it will boycott an international conference next week. The conference is meant to bring together all the countries who will be critical players in Afghanistan's post-US future. The absence of Pakistan – which shares a long border with Afghanistan and has influence over insurgent groups that operate in the country –  is significant.

The predominant fear is that Pakistan will pursue its own interests over international ones in Afghanistan, which could be detrimental to the US and its allies in the region. According to the Associated Press, "Pakistan is perhaps the most important regional country because of it influence on Afghan Taliban factions on its soil."

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