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Door for dialogue with Taliban open, says Abdullah

Door for dialogue with Taliban open, says Abdullah

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Nov 15, 2017 - 09:14

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Without specifically mentioning Pakistaninfo-icon, CEO Dr Abdullah on Tuesday said terrorist groups receiving support and having sanctuaries in the region pose a challenge to peace in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

An absolute majority of the Afghans was keen to see a peaceful process, Abdullah told a Washington audience. There were groups that still believed that they could take over through terror and violence, he said.

“They receive support and have sanctuaries. That remains to be a big challenge for us. But I have no doubt in my mind that there will be conditions and circumstances that more and more groups will be convinced that they need to join the peace process...” he added.

With the emergence of Daesh in the region, some countries that considered Talibaninfo-icon a lesser threat, he said. “That is not the case. The umbrella is the Taliban for all those groups. They cannot operate without support from the Taliban.”

Pakistan, he alleged, viewed TTP as the main threat. “We agree. We are fighting against them. We consider them a threat and we don't make any differentiation between this and that terrorist group. We have never supported any terrorist group in our country.

“We consider them the same. At the same time, we are open to dialogue with the Taliban. We have kept the door open for that,” Dr Abdullah said.

CSIS president and CEO John J Hamre said these were challenging days for Afghanistan.

Earl Anthony Wayne, senior adviser at CSIS, said the new US policy reflected an important shift. “The shift is also looking at the region as an important aspect of moving forward building and strengthening regional relationships...” He added the strategy had a special focus on Pakistan and the role it had played and could play.

The US policy is based on close partnership with the government of Afghanistan. That partnership is essential, particularly in the key role which the government of Afghanistan has to play for the US strategy to bear good results.

“And that includes as there has been as noted a lot of attention here has been on the security side and the United States is providing more support to Afghan forces,” he said.

“But that support will only really bear fruit as the Afghan government continues to improve the leadership capacity of the police and military forces and to root out any corruption that is evident there,” Wayne concluded. 

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