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Pakistan policy towards Taliban has not changed: Abdullah

Pakistan policy towards Taliban has not changed: Abdullah

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Sep 28, 2018 - 10:16

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Despite a change of government in Islamabad, Pakistaninfo-icon’s policy towards the Talibaninfo-icon has not changed, chief executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah has said asserting that Pakistan has significant influence over the Taliban in comparison to any other country.

“We believe that Pakistan has significant influence over the Taliban in comparison to any other country. Other countries also have established contacts and produce some leverages,” Dr Abdullah said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Responding to questions, Dr Abdullah pointed out that “real change has not taken place as far as their policy” towards Taliban is concerned. “In the past they have made promises that they will bring the reconcilable Taliban to the negotiating table and pressurize the others. We have seen none in that sense. But still we are hopeful,” he said.

“With Pakistan, we will continue our engagement with them with the hope that they will be convinced that these groups, the groups which are using ideology, but at the same time terror tactics and violence and killing civilians, will not serve any country’s interests,” he said.

“If there is one lesson in the past three decades, that’s one, that these groups have their own agendas. At the end of the day, they will pursue their own agenda rather than the agendas of the countries or country which has helped them,” Dr Abdullah said.

The Afghan Government, he said, believes that there has to be peace talks between it and the Taliban. “It’s not taking place as of yet. There are contacts here and there, direct contacts or contacts by our allies, with the Taliban,” he said.

“And for the talks to get serious nature, a few things are required. One is that those who are supporting Taliban need to be persuaded and convinced or persuaded that they should stop support. And one country is key to that, which is Pakistan,” Dr Abdullah said.

“Inside the country, if Taliban are not under pressure, they might not be inclined to enter the talks. Inside—I mean military pressure; and then, at the same time, efforts by us, or together with our partners, to seize the opportunities and moments when it counts,” he said.

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