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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has expressed disappointment at Afghanistan acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi’s statement in which he had urged the government of Pakistan to hold dialogue with banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for resolving the issues.

Credible diplomatic sources told Business Recorder that Pakistan had conveyed through diplomatic channels its disappointment at the statement which was not in line with the discussions held during bilateral talks between Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and acting Afghanistan foreign minister in Islamabad on Sunday last.

“In our bilateral talks, the Afghan acting foreign minister reassured us that they will not allow the TTP to use its soil against Pakistan or any other country. To say that Pakistan and TTP should hold talks was disappointing and we have shared our concerns with the Afghan side through diplomatic channels,” said a senior government officer on condition of anonymity.

While speaking at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Monday, Muttaqi had urged both Pakistan and the TTP to resolve their issues through dialogue.

“We request both, Pakistan and the TTP to sit down and resolve the issue through talks…We have talked with the Pakistani authorities [on TTP] and we would continue to do so. We don’t want to see any bloodshed and insecurity in Pakistan. This is our policy,” said the Taliban’s top diplomat said at the conclusion of his Pakistan visit.

Muttaqi, in his visit from May 5-8, held bilateral talks with Foreign Minister Bilawal and also participated in the 5th China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue.

Following the recent rise in terrorism in the country, the government of Pakistan, the National Security Council (NSC) – the country’s top security forum – in its meeting held on April 7, termed the spate of terrorism as a result of a “soft corner” and “thoughtless” policy of the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government towards the banned TTP by allowing the return of the hardcore terrorists in total disregard of public expectations and also approved the launch of an all-out comprehensive operation against the terrorists.

An official, who is familiar with the discussions on security-related issues, said there would be no talks with the TTP and Pakistan would continue to press the Taliban’s interim government not to provide any space to any terrorist organisations, particularly, the TTP and Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-KP) also known as Daesh.

He said it was responsibility of the Afghanistan interim government as per the Taliban’s commitment to the international community that they would not allow any terrorist organisation to pose a security threat to any country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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