CEO Abdullah: Public perception about Pakistan would change through actions

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah has said that Kabul recognizes change in Pakistan’s policies particularly with Islamabad’s assurance of working for peace and stability in Afghanistan but public perception would change through actions.

“It will take time for common Afghans to be on-board. They have doubts which need to be removed through actions,” CEO Abdullah said in an interview with Pakistan’s The Express Tribune news on Wednesday.

While pointing to Pakistan’s breach of trust, CEO Abdullah said that Kabul was told peace talks with Taliban are taking place with the blessing of Mullah Omar but he had died two years ago.

“We were told that the [peace] talks were taking place with his [Omar’s] blessing… who leaked the news [of Omar’s death] … why and how this happened… this is not important anymore,” he said. “What is important is why this was kept from us. It was clear breach of trust.”

Pakistan arranged and hosted first round of face-to-face peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban in July and the process was expected to continue but it halted when the news about Mullah Mohammad Omar’s death surfaced.

Pakistan has now made the arrangements to restart the stalled process. CEO Abdullah also supports the efforts saying that such contacts could help in finding solution to problems.

For bringing Afghan Taliban to the negotiation table with Afghan government, Islamabad wants Kabul to act against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah who is responsible for some deadly attacks in Pakistan. Islamabad claims that Mullah Fazlullah is hiding in Afghanistan.

In his yesterday’s interview, CEO Abdullah said Pakistan’s concerns are legitimate but Afghanistan also has legitimate concerns.

“We’re ready to take risks but then we also expect Pakistan to stand by us for the sake of the greater good,” he said. “[Outlawed] Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s chief Mullah Fazlullah has survived several operations by Afghan security forces in recent months – but I’m sure he will not evade us forever.”

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