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Former Pakistan ISI Chief: We Can Only Persuade Taliban to Negotiations

AT News

KABUL: Assad Dorrani, an ex-chief of Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), says that Islamabad could just persuade Taliban militants to sit with Afghan representatives for the peace talks. He says that Pakistan could not do anything more.

Dorrani’s statement is an effort to deny his country’s influence on the insurgent group that maintains offices in Peshawar and Quetta.

Dorrani had earlier said that Afghan and Taliban negotiating teams would have tough talks ahead.

“Pakistan can use influence on the mujahideen and Taliban to encourage them to hold talks with Kabul. Any decision they make is acceptable for Pakistan, but Islamabad can do nothing more than that.”

Dorrani said that his country had preserved ties with the mujahideen groups as well as with Taliban despite many pressures.

He had earlier said that Taliban would hold talks with individuals like Abdullah Abdullah and Mohammad Mohaqeq, who are the “sons of Afghan soil”, not with President Ashraf Ghani.

Dorrani had also said that Ghani would have no role in the future of Afghanistan.

The ex ISI chief said that Pakistan had formed a coalition with Iran and Russia 10 years ago to hold an effective stance in the post-US withdrawal in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has supported mujahideen and Taliban in the past 40 years, playing a strong role in the Afghan developments.

Islamabad announced support of the Afghan government after Taliban’s collapse in 2001, but Kabul frequently accused it of training and supporting Taliban.

Pakistan has rejected the allegations as baseless.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his November visit to Kabul said that his country would help Afghans more than their expectations.

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