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Pakhtun leaders seek mandate for talks with Afghan leaders

Pakistan’s Pakhtun nationalist leaders have decided to wage a joint struggle for bringing peace to the region, including Afghanistan, the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief says.

Mahmood Khan Achakzai told a mammoth public meeting in Balochistan’s capital of Quetta late on Monday, theleaders would ask the government for a mandate to hold negotiations with the Afghan leadership.

Achakzai, Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan, Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam head Maulana Fazlur Rehman are ready to help resolve all disputes with Afghanistan.

They could sort out all issues with Afghanistan and restore peaceful relations if the government authorisedthem to hold negotiations with the Afghan leadership and ensured there would be no interference in the affairs of the neighbouring country.

More than 100,000 Pakhtuns, including a number of tribal elders, had been killed by insurgents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, he said. Their only sin was that they promoted peace and denounced militancy, he alleged.

A dangerous game was being played in the region and the Pakhtun leadership needed to understand that their people were the biggest victim, Achakzai claimed, accusing successive governments of failing to eradicate foreign terrorists. (PAN)

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