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Pak wants Taliban to hold Talks with Afghan Govt

Pakistan Wants Taliban to Hold Talks with Afghan Govt: Qureshi

KABUL – Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said Islamabad wants Taliban to give up their refusal to hold talks with Afghan government so that a political settlement of the 17-year-old conflict could be negotiated.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi during an exclusive interview to a local media outlet stated that Pakistan wants Taliban to settle the 17-year-old conflict with the Afghan government and negotiate.
“We want them to sit together. It is for Afghans to sort out their problems and as long as they do not sit down and talk to each other, outsiders can do little to help them,” Qureshi said.
He further stated that if they do not “sit down and talk to each other, outsiders can do little to help them”.
Earlier, Pakistan facilitated a meeting between the United States and the Taliban in Abu Dhabi, where delegations from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were also present. Although the talks were said to be “productive and positive”, the Taliban did not change their position to hold talks with the Afghan government.
It was also reported that Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah criticised Taliban’s refusal to hold talks and said that as long as the two parties don’t negotiate, the solution of the conflict would remain a “pipe dream”. Another round of talks to build on Abu Dhabi meeting is expected later this month.
Pakistani FM Qureshi was also quizzed about the prospects for this impasse on initiation of an intra-Afghan process being overcome, to which he said he was hopeful and that until recently “no one could have thought of US and Taliban representatives sitting under one roof and talking to each other, but that happened”.
The remarks come as the Afghan President’s Special Envoy Umer Daudzai is in a four-day visit to Islamabad to hold talks with Pakistani officials as well as political and religious leaders to discuss the Afghan peace.
(Sahar News)

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