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Taliban told they ‘cannot run govt alone’, reveals Afghan journalist

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Abdullah Abdullah tells the Taliban they cannot form govt alone. Photo: ANI
Abdullah Abdullah tells the Taliban they cannot form govt alone. Photo: ANI

ISLAMABAD: The Afghan Taliban has been told that they “cannot run the government alone” in the country, revealed veteran journalist Tahir Khan.

Speaking on Geo News programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath on Tuesday, the journalist said, citing sources, that Afghan politician Abdullah Abdullah told the Taliban that they cannot form a government alone in Kabul.

Taliban, however, welcomed the prospect of an inclusive government in the country but they are not inclined towards including the local political leadership in the government, said the Afghan journalist.

“The Taliban will say that they have fought and expelled foreign forces from Afghanistan for the last 20 years, so why would they allow anyone else [political leadership in Afghanistan] to take a large chunk of the government,” he added.

Khan said another reason why a consensus-based government was taking time to form in Afghanistan was due to the presence of foreign troops in the country.

“They consider it [the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan] a continuation of the same aggressive tactics [of the West] against them,” he said. “However, consultations are continuing each day from forming the cabinet to every other issue.”

Responding to a question about the Panjshir valley conflict, Khan said the Taliban will face difficulty in bringing the area under their control as the group never succeeded in making it a Taliban bastion during their previous tenure.

It was expected that the Taliban will exert more pressure in Panjshir valley to control it in the coming days, he added.

Pakistan conveyed its concerns to Taliban about TTP

Speaking on the show, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi acknowledged that Pakistan was concerned about the TTP factor as the banned outfit had used Afghan soil against Pakistan in the past.

“We informed then-Afghan president Ashraf Ghani about the TTP presence in Afghanistan. He listened, but did not take action,” said the minister.

Qureshi said Pakistan had conveyed its concerns to the Taliban leadership about the presence of TTP militants in the country.

Speaking on the delay in the formation of an interim set up in Afghanistan, FM Qureshi said Pakistan, as a neighbour of Afghanistan who harboured good intentions towards it, could only advise the Afghan leadership.

“The decision is theirs to take,” he said, adding that Islamabad would wish to see a broad-based, inclusive government in the neighbouring country.

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