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Islamic State, Taliban are separate entities: Abdullah

KABUL: The Taliban and the Islamic State are two different entities with no institutional linkages, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah has said.

“Some Taliban leaders have declared their allegiance. But we are also watching them closely to stop them from developing (linkages),” the CEO told a media conference in India.

Speaking at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi on Friday, he was asked about support the Taliban enjoyed in Pakistan.”We don’t want to be pessimistic or overjoyed on the dialogue with Taliban…”

The former foreign minister confirmed China had held meetings in the past few months with the Taliban and urged them to enter direct negotiations with the Afghan government.

Without commenting on the outcome of Beijing’s initiative, he said China has asked the insurgent movement to hold face-to-face parleys with the government in Kabul.

With regard to the power-sharing arrangement with President Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah said there were specific reasons why he took over as CEO. “There is no precedence of a CEO in our country. This is like the role of a prime minister.”

He went on to cite the Persian proverb: Two kings cannot rule a single territory. The unity government deal was important for the country’s future, and that it was not a marriage of convenience. (PAN)

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