Afghan Taliban’s Muttaqi urges Islamabad, TTP to hold talks – Times of India

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ISLAMABAD: The Afghan Taliban’s interim foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, rejected on Monday allegations that Afghanistan’s soil has been used for terrorist activities against Pakistan and urged Islamabad and the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to resolve their differences through dialogue.
Responding to a question about alleged Indian intelligence involvement in terror financing of the TTP, Muttaqi rebuffed the accusation as mere propaganda. “Afghan soil has never been used against any country,” the Afghan minister remarked at a presser after speaking at an event organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS), an Islamabad-based think tank.
The Afghan interim FM is currently on a four-day visit to Pakistan to attend bilateral and trilateral (Pakistan-China-Afghanistan) dialogues during which, he stated, discussions around the region’s security situation were also held.
The interim foreign minister said the Afghan Taliban had helped initiate negotiations between Islamabad and TTP in the past.
“We do not want Afghan territory to be used against any country as it’s not in Afghanistan’s interest,” he said, urging the two sides to be more focused on dialogue.
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have featured ups and down in the past. Islamabad had held several rounds of Afghan Taliban-brokered talks with the TTP but negotiations broke down last year over a set of demands made by the militant group.
During talks, the TTP had succeeded in influencing Pakistani authorities to release dozens of its leaders and fighters languishing in detention centres across Pakistan.
Islamabad had grown angrier over the Taliban administration’s failure to reign in the TTP, responsible for the resurgence of terrorist attacks in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the northwest and Balochistan in the southwest. This April, the TTP had issued a statement claiming to have carried out 48 attacks on security forces across Pakistan.
On the Afghan interim government’s ban on the education of girls, Muttaqi said the Taliban never said that women’s education was “un-Islamic” or “prohibited”. He added that Kabul has only suspended educational activities of girls until further orders.

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