Pakistan wants world to engage Taliban again, warns against parallel governance

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Pakistan wants world to engage Taliban again, warns against parallel governance

WASHINGTON: Pakistan wants the world to engage the Taliban, warning of the dangers if Afghanistan's rulers are again isolated.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari cautioned against creating parallel governance after the United States, distrustful of the Taliban, and putting Afghanistan's frozen assets in a professional fund in Switzerland in an interview with AFP.

On Tuesday Sep 28th, Bhutto Zardari said on Tuesday that the concerns of an economic collapse, an exodus of refugees and a threat of new recruits for organisations such as ISIS-K and others outweigh concerns about their financial institutions because we have learned from the past that we can create unintended consequences and more problems for ourselves. The Taliban returned to power last year after the United States ended a two-decade war. Relations had soured with Pakistan, whose powerful military and intelligence apparatus was accused in Washington of quietly nurturing the Islamist militants despite providing logistical access to US forces.

In contrast to some previous Pakistani officials, the foreign minister - whose mother, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated in 2007 - offered no warm words for the Taliban.

He said the militants needed political space on issues such as women's rights, which have been curtailed sharply.

He said that theocratic, autocratic regimes haven't always expanded their rights at times of economic strife.

They tend to hold onto cultural issues and other issues to engage their population. The United States came away unpersuaded from a series of talks with the Taliban and in August said that the militants had violated promises by welcoming Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was found in a Kabul house and killed in a US strike.