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U.S. has unrealistic expectations from Pakistan on Taliban talks, says ex-ISI chief

Islamabad, Sept. 20 (ANI): Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, Lieutenant General Ehsan-ul-Haq, has said the United States has “unrealistic expectations” from Pakistan to bring Taliban leader Mullah Omar to the negotiating table.

The Express Tribune quoted Lt. Gen (retired) Haq,as saying that while Pakistan fully supports Afghan peace talks, it “can’t deliver anybody” to the negotiating table.

Haq also advised the United States to advance the “political track” with the Taliban in the time left before Washington orders the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, and added that the U.S. should do whatever it can to revive the Qatar process and make good on pledges over a prisoner swap.

He also dismissed claims about the Taliban and Haqqani network having ties with Pakistani security forces, and said that Pakistan’s security forces had conducted several raids on religious schools and homes of Haqqani network’s founder in Miramshah between 2002 and 2004.

“He was not there; he was in Paktia, Paktika,” Haq said, quoting two provinces in the neighbouring Afghanistan.

Haq said the U.S.’ latest move to blacklist the Haqqani network as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation “should have been done seven, eight, 10 years back”. (ANI)