HomeNewsKabul seeks Islamabad's help to persuade Taliban for talks

Kabul seeks Islamabad’s help to persuade Taliban for talks

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan has sought Pakistan’s help to persuade the Taliban to hold talks with authorities in Kabul as fierce fighting between Afghan and insurgent forces claim dozens of lives on a daily basis across the country.
“We have great expectations from Pakistan. I hope Islamabad will persuade the Taliban for talks again,” Afghan foreign minister Hanif Atmar told a private Pakistani TV station on Friday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, however, had said several times that Washington’s pullout deadline from Afghanistan had diminished Islamabad’s leverage over Afghan insurgents.
The situation in Afghanistan has become more volatile, with the Taliban launching a blistering campaign and capturing key districts of the country, in an escalated move as the US forces gradually withdraw from the country.
Responding to a question whether the Afghan government thinks the US betrayed it, Atmar said that Washington had signed an agreement with the Taliban with honest intentions.
“The Taliban did not fulfil their part of the deal and deceived the whole world. The Taliban are making a huge mistake. All of us have extended a hand of friendship towards them,” he said.
He said the Afghan government was telling the Taliban to honour the Doha peace deal, adding that Kabul had fulfilled its obligations of the deal related to prisoners’ swap and ensuring exit of foreign troops from the country.
The Afghan minister further said that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al-Qaeda have banded forces with other terrorist elements and are fighting alongside the Taliban against the Afghan government forces.
“We are monitoring links between the TTP, Taliban and al-Qaeda on a daily basis,” Atmar said, adding that ties between these groups certainly exist.
According to the minister, Afghan government has divided the militant groups of foreign fighters into different categories.
“The first among them are the ones fighting for a global agenda, such as al-Qaeda and Daesh. Al-Qaeda and Daesh militants have their presence in the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he said.
“Then, we have regional players. The TTP, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Ansarullah and Jundullah,” said Atmar.
“The entire region, not Afghanistan alone, is at threat from these groups. Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, India, Russia and the Middle East are in danger from these groups,” he said.
The Afghan FM said that his country’s has spoken about regional cooperation to address the militancy problem without any discrimination of good or bad terrorists.
“Peace between Afghanistan and the Taliban will ensure these elements do not find a safe haven in Afghanistan,” he added.

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