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US must pressurise Pakistan to jump-start talks with Taliban: Karzai

“The United States should limit its military mission in Afghanistan to supporting and training local forces,” Karzai said in an interview with The Washington Post.

Karzai, who ruled Afghanistan as president from 2001 to 2014, urged the US to devise a continued pressure policy on Pakistan, together with China, Russia, India, and Iran, to force the Taliban leaders to join peace talks.

“The United States must take a clear stand there…it has to be stronger and consistent,” he said.

Also Read: Pakistan to host meeting on reviving Afghan Taliban talks

“The war on terror is not in Afghan villages; it is not in Afghan homes. You cannot defeat it…[by] launching military operations on Afghan homes,” Karzai said.

“Rather it should be found in the sanctuaries, in the training grounds, in the motivation factors, and in those powers or those institutions behind it, outside of Afghanistan.”

Present Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called on Pakistan to hand over many Taliban leaders but, in an obvious difference with Karzai, Ghani has responded to terror attacks by pledging to bigger military pressure against the group, said the report.

Also Read: Death of Taliban leader Mansour-what happens next?

Pakistani embassy spokesman in Washington Nadeem Hotiana said the Pakistani government always believed that a negotiated peace deal was the only way to bring sustained peace in Afghanistan.

He said coordination between Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the US was needed for the stalled talks to move forward.

It is not yet clear how the US drone strike that killed the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Pakistan last month will affect the long-term prospects for peace.

However, Pakistan has tried to bring the Taliban and the top Afghan government officials together for a series of meetings, a process that has not been initiated yet.

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