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Sunday, July 21, 2024  
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FO rejects interim Afghan govt’s offer to facilitate Pakistan-banned TTP talks

Spokesperson reiterates interim Afghan govt should allowing use of soil for attacks against neighbouring countries
In this undated photo, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch addresses a press briefing in Islamabad. Photo via Radio Pakistan
In this undated photo, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch addresses a press briefing in Islamabad. Photo via Radio Pakistan

The Foreign Office has rejected the interim Afghan government’s offer to facilitate talks between Pakistan and the outlawed terrorist group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

“There will not be any talks with groups involved in the killing of citizens of Pakistan and other countries,” FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said at a weekly press briefing on Thursday. “The terrorist entity is involved in the killing of Pakistani and foreign citizens inside Pakistan.”

Earlier this week, interim Afghan government spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that Kabul could play a mediating role between Pakistan and the banned group if it receives a message from Islamabad.

Pakistan has seen a rise in terrorist activities in the terrorist attacks, with the country blaming the outlawed group for the killings and urging the Afghan Taliban to take action against them.

In May, Federal Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi confirmed that the attack on Chinese citizens in Bisham was carried out using Afghan territory. He revealed that Pakistan has raised the issue with the Afghan interim government but has yet to receive any positive response.

FO spokesperson Baloch said that Pakistan respects Afghanistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We expect the Afghan authorities to uphold their sovereignty and take action against terrorist groups which have found sanctuaries inside Afghanistan and using their territory for terrorist attacks against Pakistan.”

When asked, she said: “Pakistan is committed to implementing an illegal foreigners repatriation plan. The first phase of this plan was near completion, she said and alluded to the illegal foreigners including Afghans repatriated to their home countries.

The spokesperson clarified that Pakistan has not given any understanding to the UNHCR for the suspension of the plan. She pointed out that the government has approved a one-year extension of the validity of the Proof of Registration cards of the Afghan refugees.

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She also condemned the Israeli forces’ bombing of a Palestinian camp and urged the international community to hold Israel accountable for its “atrocities”.

Baloch said that the elements involved in the May 9 incidents would be held accountable according to the Constitution and law.

In response to another question, Baloch said Pakistan and the United States have a multifaceted and robust partnership. “We believe that this relationship should move forward on the basis of mutual respect, sovereign equality and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.”

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