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Pakistani PM Prepared To Revive Taliban Peace Talks


Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on October 23 he had told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that Islamabad was prepared to help revive peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.

But Sharif said: "We cannot bring the Taliban to the table and be asked to kill them at the same time."

Sharif did not elaborate but his comments were widely seen as reference to U.S. calls for Pakistan to crack down on Taliban sanctuaries within Pakistan.

Sharif made the remarks during a speech at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington a day after his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama during which the two leaders expressed commitment to Afghan peace and called on the Taliban to enter direct talks with Kabul.

Sharif's speech at the think tank was briefly disrupted by a protester shouting slogans in support of freedom for the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

The man shouted "Free, Free Baluchistan!" and accused the Pakistani prime minister of being "friends" with late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, just as Sharif was starting a speech.

Baluchistan is home for separatists fighting for independence and a greater share of profits from the region's oil, gas, and mineral resources.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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