Sharif 's U-turn: says Pak's policy of keeping influence in Afghanistan 'flawed'

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Islamabad, July 7(ANI): Admitting that his pro-Afghan Taliban policy in the 1990's was a failure, former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan should stop trying to influence affairs in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan should abandon this thinking that Pakistan has to keep influence in Afghanistan. Neither will they accept influence, nor should the pro-influence-minded people here insist on it," The Dawn quoted Sharif, as saying.

"Our policy in the past has failed. Neither will such a policy work in future. We have a centuries-old relationship, and we can maintain this relationship only when we remain neutral and support the government elected there with the desire of the Afghan people," he added.

Sharif, who has repeatedly urged the government to open talks with the Pakistani Taliban, further said that Islamabad should take the initiative instead of waiting for directives from Washington.

He also stressed that the negotiations should be with militants "who are ready to talk and ready to listen". (ANI)

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