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PublishDate: Thursday, August 12, 2021 09:27

Imran Khan says Taliban won’t talk peace unless Ghani goes

Taliban leaders have said they will not negotiate with the Afghan government as long as Ashraf Ghani remains president, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday (August 11), Reuters reported.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_With stalled, violence in Afghanistan has escalated spiked sharply as the insurgent group makes rapid territorial gains. A U.S. defence official said on Wednesday that Taliban fighters could take over Kabul in 90 days.

said a political settlement was looking difficult under current conditions.

“I tried to persuade the Taliban… three to four months back when the Taliban senior leadership came here,” Khan told foreign at his home in .

“The condition is that as long as Ashraf Ghani is there, we (Taliban) are not going to talk to the Afghan government,” Khan said, quoting the Taliban leaders as telling him.

According to Reuters peace talks between the Taliban, who view Ghani and his government as puppets of the United States, and a team of Kabul-nominated Afghan negotiators started last September but have made no substantive progress.

Representatives of a number of countries, including the United States, are currently in the Qatari capital of talking to both sides in a last-ditch push for a ceasefire before Aug 31 – the day all foreign forces officially exit Afghanistan.

The Pakistani prime minister said he felt the Afghan government was now trying to convince the United States to come back and intervene again, Reuters reported.

“They’ve been here for 20 years… What will they do now that they did not do for 20 years?” he said.

U.S. forces have continued to use airstrikes to support Afghan forces against Taliban advances, but it remains unclear if such support will continue after Aug 31.

Khan said Pakistan had “made it very clear” that it does not want any bases in Pakistan after U.S. forces exit Afghanistan.

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