Islamabad, Oct 23 : Pakistan and Afghanistan have reportedly agreed on not holding talks with armed Taliban. Foreign ministers of the two countries announced this at a joint press conference last evening, saying that talks would be held "only with those who lay down arms".
"Talks will be held with only those who are willing to lay down arms and those who live within the constitution," the Daily Times quoted Afghan Foreign Minister Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta as saying.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said other nations were coming around to Pakistan's multi-pronged counterterrorism strategy that said "no talks with militants, but political dialogue with those who agree to live as peaceful citizens".
Calling for the destruction of Taliban and Al Qaeda "reproduction factories" in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, the Afghan foreign minister said that cross-border terrorism was a serious issue. "If there are sanctuaries, there are. Let us call a spade a spade. But they would be taken care of only by the Pakistani security forces," Qureshi said and added that he had shared a document with his Afghan counterpart that 'set the tone for a new relationship' with new transportation and communication corridors, co-operation in energy and mineral development projects, and trans-border economic zones.
On the occasion, Spanta also denied that India was planning to send troops to Afghanistan or that there were 16 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, saying there were only four in Mazar-e-Shairf, Herat, Kandhar and Jalalabad.