Pak Army's 'close links' with Taliban laid bare by CNN report

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Lahore, July 11 (ANI): The Pakistan Army was caught unaware on Friday when a media report claimed that it has declared that it could contact the Taliban to broker a ceasefire between the US and the banned extremist outfit.

Quoting the ISPR spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas from an 'exclusive interview', the CNN reported that the Pakistan Army is in contact with the Taliban chief Mullah Omar and can bring the warlord and his commanders to the discussion table with the US.

"The Pakistani military has the ability to get the Taliban to the table with the US to broker a ceasefire by jump-starting a dialogue between the warring parties. That's right dialogue. Eventually, one would have to return to the dialogue table. I think that can be worked out," the CNN reported Abbas, as saying.

According to the report, Abbas also said that Islamabad wanted concessions from Washington regarding it concerns with India in return of brokering talks between the United States and the Taliban.

The report also stated that theWhite House is eager to host talks with the Taliban and also with India regarding Pakistan's concerns.

"Obama administration is willing both to talk to top Taliban leaders and to raise some of Pakistan's concerns with India," it said.

Abbas reportedly told CNN, that following the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Pakistan remained in contact with Mullah Omar and other Taliban commanders.

"But that did not mean you endorse what they are doing," said Abbas.

Meanwhile, the ISPR has rebuked the report and has termed it baseless.

"The remarks attributed to the ISPR director general are totally baseless, fabricated and unfounded and out of context. The ISPR rejects them," The Daily Times quoted a military spokesperson, as saying. (ANI)

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