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Bilawal Bhutto rules out any talks with TTP

21 Jan 2023, 14:03 GMT+10

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 21 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the government will not hold talks with terrorist organisations that fail to respect the nation's laws and Constitution.

He also slammed the former PTI government for adopting a policy of appeasement for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported.

"The new leadership in Pakistan, both political and military, has been absolutely clear. There will be no talks with terrorist organisations that don't respect our laws and Constitution," Zardari said as quoted by Dawn Newspaper.

"I am confident that if we can work with the Taliban 'which has influence over these groups, we will be successful in maintaining our security'," he said in an interview with The Washington Post in Davos, Switzerland where he is attending the World Economic Forum.

While commenting on the PTI government, he said: "Imran Khan gave the TTP a place to hide. Not only did he release their prisoners who were in Pakistan's custody, but also engaged in a dialogue with them.

"He (Imran) has always been ideologically sympathetic to their point of view," he added.

On being asked if Pakistan hopes that the Taliban will act against the TTP, he said: "Our hope, and in fact, their agreement was that their soil would not be used for terrorism. We do hope to cooperate with them to deal with terrorists that are a concern to us.""We are both victims of terrorism," he said adding that he doesn't believe the Taliban will be successful on their own against terrorism, and neither will Pakistan be successful on its own against terrorism. "We have to work together," he said.

Pakistan has been urging the Afghan Taliban leaders to counter the threat posed by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) amid rising terrorist attacks in the country.

However, these efforts by Islamabad have not produced any results as the Afghan Taliban leadership believes that dialogue is the only way to resolve the TTP issue, the Khaama Press reported.

After the disruption of the peace talks process between the TTP and the Pakistani government, the TTP has intensified attacks in recent months despite the announcement of a ceasefire. It continued to target security officials, foreign citizens and other government officials across Pakistan, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan provinces, the report by Fidel Rahmati for Khaama Press stated.

The Khaama Press report quoted local sources who said that the National Security Council-Pakistan informed the Afghan government that to fulfil its obligations under the Doha Agreement, including bilateral meetings, Kabul would have to neutralize the TTP threat. (ANI)

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