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‘No talks with Daesh, foreign terrorists’

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Dr. Omar Zakhilwal has putted weight behind peace talks with the Taliban insurgents in a bid to put an end to the ongoing war, it has been reported.

“Peace cannot be brokered under duress, but it needs good and positive intentions because there is no other way to resolve the conflict but to negotiate peace,” he said.

In an interview with Voice of America, the diplomat said: “To talk peace, we need to identify the enemy, his intentions and his goals.”

As Afghanistan struggles to establish durable peace, the ambassador claimed the insurgent movement had largely devolved into groups of criminals and terrorists.

“The Taliban today are not the Taliban of Mullah Omar because they had some religious commitments and certain values,” he remarked. At present, he alleged, the Taliban included drug barons.

Zakhilwal said a foreign hand was also involved in the conflict. All the elements had to be scrutinised and dealt with accordingly, he added.

However, he ruled out peace with Daesh (Islamic State) and other foreign terrorists such as Turkmen, Uzbek, Chechen, Arab, Chinese and Russians fighters active in the country.

Suggesting a gradual improvement in Kabul-Islamabad relations, Zakhilwal said a delegation led by the Wolesi Jirga speaker would be visiting Pakistan later in the month.

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