ISLAMABAD: Following Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s remarks that Pakistan could not bring Taliban to the negotiating table “and be asked to kill them at the same time,” the government in Kabul has urged Islamabad to take action against Afghan Taliban.
In a joint-statement after a meeting between the premier and US President Barack Obama, both the leaders had called on the Taliban to “enter into direct talks with Kabul and work towards a sustainable peace settlement.”
PM Nawaz during his talk at a US think thank had also said he had conveyed to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Pakistan was prepared to assist peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
However, the Afghan government seems unimpressed by the premier’s quest for the revival of the peace process.
“Pakistan should adopt policies against the Taliban similar to the Afghanistan’s stance,” deputy presidential spokesperson Sayed Zafar Hashemi said on Sunday in an apparent reaction to the prime ministers’ comments.
“Pakistani government should deal with the Taliban in line with the same interpretation they have set against any terrorist activities on their own soil,” the spokesperson was quoted by a section of the Afghan media as saying.
The Afghan government is ready to hold peace negotiations with those Taliban who accept the Afghan constitution and lay down arms, the spokesperson added.
“But we will talk to those who accept our conditions, respect whatever has been achieved over the past 10 years, and do not fight in Afghanistan for the interests of others,” Hashemi said.
Renewing his offer to the Afghan government, PM Nawaz during his recent address at the United States Institute of Peace had said: “I have again conveyed to President Ashraf Ghani that, if he desires, we are prepared to assist in reviving the talks between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban. But we cannot bring them to the table and be asked to kill them at the same time”.
Despite Kabul’s vague stance on peace talks, officials in Pakistan insist they are ready to help in the revival of peace negotiations that faced a deadlock following confirmation of the death of Taliban supremo Mullah Omar in late July.