LONDON (Agencies) The arrest of key Taliban leaders in Pakistan stopped a secret channel of communications with the United Nations, the former UN special representative to Afghanistan said Friday in a BBC interview. Kai Eide, who stepped down from the post earlier this month, confirmed for the first time that he had been holding talks with senior Taliban figures and said they started around a year ago. Face-to-face talks were held with senior figures in the Taliban leadership in Dubai and other locations, said the diplomat, adding he believed the movements leader Mullah Omar had given the process the green light. Of course I met Taliban leaders during the time I was in Afghanistan, the Norwegian diplomat told the broadcaster at his home outside Oslo. The first contact was probably last spring, then of course you moved into the election process where there was a lull in activity. Eide said that communication picked up when the election process was over, and it continued to pick up until a certain moment a few weeks ago. He was referring to the arrest of senior Taliban commanders in Pakistan in recent weeks, a move which had been welcomed in the United States as a sign of the countrys increasing willingness to track down Afghan militant leaders. But the diplomat said the detentions had a negative effect on attempts to find a political solution to the eight-year-old Afghan war and suggested Pakistan had deliberately tried to undermine the negotiations. Eide said there were many channels of communication with the Taliban, including those involving Karzais representative. He said the negotiations must be led by the Afghans, but that contacts have been made by other parties. I know many have tried, he said, declining to identify those who have reached out to the Taliban. Eide said these contacts were in the early stages... talks about talks, adding it would take a long time before there was enough confidence between both sides to really move forward. The effect of (the arrests), in total, certainly, was negative on our possibilities to continue the political process that we saw as so necessary at that particular juncture, he said. Asked if he thought Pakistan wanted to end the talks because it wanted to be in control of the process, Eide replied: I find that interpretation to be probably the right one. The Pakistanis did not play the role they should have played. They must have known about this, said Eide. I dont believe these people were arrested by coincidence. They must have known who they were, what kind of role they were playing - and you see the result today. Talks with the Taliban are long overdue and the arrests in recent weeks may have hardened the insurgents, making it harder to get their leaders to negotiate, he added. Pakistani officials have insisted the arrests were not aimed at wrecking the talks, the BBC reported. Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was captured last month in Karachi, in what US media said was a joint operation with American spies. Other senior Taliban commanders have also reportedly been captured in Pakistan recently. The detention of Baradar infuriated Afghan President Hamid Karzai, one of Karzais advisers told an American news agency. Besides the ongoing talks, the adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic, said Baradar had given a green light to participating in a three-day peace jirga or conference that Karzai is hosting next month. Reports first emerged that Eide met Taliban figures after an international conference on Afghanistan in London in January. Asked about the level of contact in the talks, Eide told the BBC: We met senior figures in the Taliban leadership and we also met people who have the authority of the Quetta Shura to engage in that kind of discussion. Asked whether the leader of the Taliban movement Mullah Omar would have known about the talks, he said: I find it unthinkable that such contact would take place without his knowledge and also without his acceptance. Eide stepped down from his position as United Nations representative in Afghanistan earlier this month after two years in the post which saw violence escalate and the UN role in fraud-tainted elections mired in controversy.