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Bringing Taliban on table not sole responsibility of Pakistan: FO

Bringing Taliban on table not sole responsibility of Pakistan: FO

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office said on Tuesday that Pakistan is making serious efforts for peace in Afghanistan but the country alone is not responsible to bring the Afghan Taliban on the table for dialogue.

In an apparent response to Afghan president's recent speech, in which he said Afghanistan "no longer expects Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table", FO spokesman Nafees Zakaria clarified that Pakistan condemns terrorism in all forms and does not differentiate between terrorist groups, adding that peace in Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan.

Zakria reminded the world that Pakistan itself is the biggest victim of terrorism as thousands of its citizens and security forces personnel have laid down their lives in the war against terror.

The FO spokesman maintained that a quadrilateral group was formed to streamline the efforts directed towards bringing peace in Afghanistan so Pakistan cannot solely be held responsible for failure on this account.

Related: Ghani asks Pakistan to take army action against Taliban

The statement comes after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's Monday speech threatening diplomatic reprisals against Pakistan if it refuses to take action against the Taliban, in a new hard-line stance after the Kabul attack left 64 people dead.

The attack cast a pall over international efforts in recent months to jumpstart Pakistan-brokered peace talks, which stalled last summer after the Taliban belatedly confirmed the death of their leader Mullah Omar.

"I want to make it clear that we no longer expect Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table," Mr Ghani said in a sombre address to both houses of the Afghan parliament.

Meanwhile, a BBC Urdu report citing diplomatic sources claims that An Afghan Taliban delegation based in Qatar is in Karachi for direct talks with the Afghan government.

Also read: US asks Pakistan to take concrete action against Haqqanis

Pakistan had hosted a meeting was hosted between the Afghan Government and Afghan Taliban representatives in Murree on 7 July 2015 along with the representatives from China and USA.

The participants were duly mandated by their respective leadership and expressed their collective desire to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region.

The second round of the talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015 was postponed in view of the reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the leadership crisis among Taliban.

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