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Pakistan in contact with Taliban, says it wishes to see inclusive govt in Afghanistan

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Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan confirmed Thursday that Islamabad was in contact with the Afghan Taliban, adding that it wished for an inclusive government in the country. 

“We are in contact with the Taliban,” Khan said, while speaking to Geo News’ correspondent in Kabul.

“Our special envoy was in contact with them in Qatar, and Mullah Baradar and other leaders of the Taliban held talks with us there. We had also spoken to the Afghan delegation, which Abdullah Abdullah was leading,” he added.

Khan said he was “in contact with both sides” but refrained from sharing the names of the people he was speaking to. He said Pakistan wished to see an inclusive government in Afghanistan so it can move towards sustainable peace in the region.

The Pakistani ambassador said that whenever Islamabad engaged in talks with Kabul previously, it had always asked Afghanistan not to let its soil be used for militant groups such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Daesh, Al Qaeda, or the ETIM that threatens China.

Speaking about the diplomatic crisis in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized the capital a few days earlier, the ambassador said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government had decided to facilitate the international community and Afghans at this critical juncture.

“We evacuated Pakistanis immediately [from Afghanistan] and did it via two methods: special flights and by road,” he said.

He confirmed that the government has, so far, has issued 3,600 visas in total since the crisis initiated, adding that the Afghans who are working with international organisations have also been issued visas.


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