The former chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Ehsanul Haq said that the US has “unrealistic expectations” with Pakistan to bring Taliban leader Mullah Omar to peace talks, reported Business Week on Wednesday.
During a brief interview in Washington, Haq said that while Pakistan fully supports Afghan peace talks, it “can’t deliver anybody” to the negotiating table, the report stated.
Haq also advised the US to advance the “political track” with the Taliban in the time left before the US withdraws forces from Afghanistan, and added that the US should do whatever it can to revive the Qatar process and make good on pledges over a prisoner swap.
Connections with Taliban, Haqqani network
Rubbishing claims about the Taliban and Haqqani network having ties with Pakistani security forces, Haq told Business Week that Pakistan’s security forces 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 was quoted as he referred to two province in the neighbouring Afghanistan.
On US’ latest move to blacklist the Haqqani network as a “foreign terrorist organisation”, Haq maintained that if it had to be done, “it should have been done seven, eight, 10 years back”.
He said that declaring groups “terrorists” when you are on a “political track” may prove to be counterproductive to peace talks.
The negotiation “process will have to be pursued more seriously with a sense of urgency even if the prospects for a successful outcome seem remote at present,” Haq was quoted.