Afghan Taliban’s Muttaqi urges Islamabad and TTP to hold talks

ISLAMABAD: The Afghan Taliban Acting Foreign MinisterAmir Khan Muttaqion Monday rejected allegations that Afghan soil was used for terrorist activities against Pakistan and urged Islamabad and outlaws Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to resolve their differences through dialogue.
Responding to a question about the alleged involvement of Indian intelligence services in terrorist financing of the TTP, Muttaqi dismissed the accusation as mere propaganda. “Afghan soil has never been used against any country,” the Afghan minister told a presser after speaking at an event organized by the Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS), a think tank based in Islamabad.
The Afghan Acting Foreign Minister is currently on a four-day visit to Pakistan to participate in bilateral and trilateral (Pakistan-China-Afghanistan) dialogues during which, he said, discussions on the security situation in the region also took place.
The acting foreign minister said the Afghan Taliban had helped launch negotiations between Islamabad and the TTP in the past.
“We do not want Afghan territory to be used against any country because it is not in Afghanistan’s interest,” he said, urging both sides to focus more on the dialogue.
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have had ups and downs in the past. Islamabad had held several rounds of Afghan Taliban-brokered talks with the TTP, but talks broke down last year over a series of demands made by the militant group.
During the talks, the TTP had successfully influenced the Pakistani authorities to release dozens of its leaders and fighters languishing in detention centers across Pakistan.
Islamabad had grown angrier over the Taliban administration’s failure to rule the TTP, responsible for the resurgence of terror attacks in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the northwest and Balochistan in the southwest. Last April, the TTP issued a statement claiming to have carried out 48 attacks on security forces across Pakistan.
On the Afghan caretaker government’s ban on girls’ education, Muttaqi said the Taliban had never said that women’s education was “un-Islamic” or “prohibited”. He added that Kabul has only suspended educational activities for girls until further notice.


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