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Talks with Taliban should be sans preconditions: Army chief

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New Delhi | Wednesday, 2019 6:45:05 PM IST
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said that talks with the Taliban, if held, should be without any preconditions whatsoever.

"Yes, there should be talks with Taliban so long as they do not come out with any preconditions and so long as they are looking at lasting peace in Afghanistan to bring about stability in that country," Rawat said in response to a question at a session on terrorism in the 2019 Raisina Dialogue, India's flagship annual geopolitical and geostrategic conference.

"It is in our interest, it is in the region's interest, it is in Pakistan's interest. We all want stability," he said.

His comments came even as the Afghan Taliban called off talks with US officials scheduled in Qatar this week reportedly over an "agenda disagreement".

The Taliban have repeatedly rejected talks on peace with the Afghan government in the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

India's stated official policy is not to hold talks with the Taliban.

Gen Rawat said that when talks with terrorists or any organisation of that kind are held, there should be no preconditions whatsoever.

"There can be no preconditions attached because when you start attaching preconditions, then it gives a sense of notion of victory, that one or the other side is talking from a position of strength," he said.

"So, any negotiation you go in for must be from that view."

--IANS ab/prs

( 246 Words)

2019-01-09-18:12:06 (IANS)

 
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