Pakistan rules out military action against Taliban on its soil
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Islamabad has effectively ruled out military action against the Taliban on its soil, asking Kabul to give ongoing efforts for resuscitating the Afghan peace process an adequate chance.
In recent weeks, President Ashraf Ghani has repeatedly reminded Pakistan of its promises to act against the insurgent leaders who refuse sitting across the negotiating table with the Afghan government.
Ghani wants the Taliban leaders living in Pakistan to be detained and handed over to Kabul for trial. He recently said Afghanistan would nolonger demand Pakistan's help in jump-starting peace parleys with the Taliban.
But Pakistan’s foreign policy adviser Sartaj Aziz, rejecting calls for military action against the militant leaders, said Kabul’s demands had been prompted by its frustration over the delay in reconciliation talks.
Speaking to reporters in Islamabad on Tuesday, Aziz advised Afghan security forces to mount pressure on the Taliban on the battlefield. A weakened insurgent movement would have to sit down for talks with the Afghan government, he argued.
“The reconciliation option cannot materialise in just two to four weeks and should be given due time because it is the only viable way of bringing peace to Afghanistan,” the advisor insisted.
Pakistan would continue to pursue efforts together with the United States and China for a peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict, he promised, confirming a delegation from Taliban’s Qatar office visited Karachi last week.
The visit, criticised by Kabul, was an exploratory contactsthat Islamabad was making to pave the ground for peace talks, the advisor said, adding the US, China and Afghanistan were also in touch with the Taliban’s office in Doha.
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