Pakistan Says Afghan Taliban Not Ready to Talk to Peace Council
Islamabad – Pakistan’s top security adviser Sartaj Aziz said on Saturday that the Afghan Taliban have not yet accepted his country’s request to talk to the Afghan High Peace Council. Aziz told reporters in Islamabad that Pakistan has been asking the Taliban to enter into dialogue with the Afghan negotiators but they insist that they do not recognize the regime in Kabul.
“As the Afghan Taliban have refused to talk to Kabul, there is need for informal contacts with the Taliban and Afghan government can approach the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan and Qatar,” he said. “We have contacts with the Afghan Taliban but do not have control over them. It will be unrealistic to expect that Pakistan delivers the Taliban for the peace process,” the Pakistani adviser said.
He confirmed the peace council’s members met senior Taliban leader Mullah Abdul GhaniBaradar in Pakistan last month. “But the Afghan council later said Baradar had been sick and was unable to talk. But I think Baradar was not allowed by the Taliban leadership to talk,” Sartaj Aziz said. He said meetings with Baradar will be fruitful after the Taliban leadership gives him permission to talk on their behalf.
Asked as to why Baradar has not yet been allowed to rejoin family like other nearly fifty Taliban freed in one year, he said President Hamid Karzai had insisted that Mullah Baradar can play a role in reconciliation process when he is accessible. (Xinhua)