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Pakistan Urges US To Resume Aid, Assures Tacking Taliban

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on October 06, 2018 with No Comments

Pakistan  has pledged  to support negotiations with the Taliban to end Afghanistan’s 17-year war as it asked the United States to restore military aid and stop blaming Islamabad for the extremists’ strengths. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited Washington to explain the Afghanistan strategy of new Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has long advocated talks over military action with the Taliban and other terror groups.

A month after Washington cut $300 million in military aid, Qureshi said he found Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “ready to listen” to Pakistan and said he was returning to Islamabad “slightly more hopeful” than before.

The United States has pressed for years for Pakistan to crack down on terrorist groups involved in Afghanistan as well as virulently anti-Indian groups that operate virtually openly. It says terrorists have safe havens in Pakistan’s border areas and links to its shadowy military establishment, accusations which Islamabad has repeatedly denied.

Trump has accused Pakistan, where US commandos killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, of duplicity. Qureshi said Pakistan would act “in good faith” to jumpstart diplomacy with the Taliban, whose representatives held a breakthrough meeting in July in Qatar with US representatives in a tentative bid to try to end the longest-running US war. “Pakistan is willing and Pakistan will use all its influence to do that. We feel that Afghanistan’s stability and peace are linked to ours,” Qureshi said at the US Institute of Peace a day after meeting Pompeo. And he added, “ Contrary to the largely held view here, our influence on the Taliban is diminished.”

 

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