US wants Pakistan-Afghanistan to identify moderate Taliban

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Washington, Apr 6 (ANI): US National Security Adviser, Marine General James Jones, wants Pakistan and Afghanistan to help the United States approach moderate Taliban activists who are willing to lay down their arms.

Jones stressed the need for a greater cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the fight against terrorists, and said that President Barack Obama's new strategy offers new hope for peace and security in South Asia.

"Surely the Pakistani people and Afghan people know more than we do," Jones told the Dawn when asked how the US would approach the moderates among the Taliban.

"And they can certainly help us in identifying those who are moderate in their views and wish to be participating in the political process," said the US National Security Adviser.

Explaining who he believed were the moderates, Jones said those who were willing to participate in the political process "without violence and without terror and without causing breaches in the security of either country."

"And so I think that as we work towards identifying those people who wish to enter into a peaceful dialogue, political dialogue, there's certainly room on the table for them," he added.

Asked what's new in President Obama's new strategy for the people of Pakistan, especially when drone attacks have continued unabated, General Jones said: "What's new is a regional focus. There has been a tendency in the past to deal with Pakistan and Afghanistan as separate issues. By appointing Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as a regional representative, the US is signalling a more comprehensive strategy."

The US official pointed out that trouble in the border areas were of concern to both countries and should be dealt with accordingly.

In the new strategy, he said, President Obama also has indicated that the US would like to be helpful to its Pakistani friends and wanted to do whatever it could to be supportive of the government's efforts. (ANI)

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