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Imran Khan advises US to strike a deal with Taliban

Source: PTI
February 23, 2009 14:35 IST
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Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has urged the United States to strike a deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan on the pattern of the Swat pact, saying that the real threat was from the Al Qaeda.

"The only way forward is dialogue, which is what (Afghan President) Hamid Karzai is finally saying. You have to start talking to the Taliban," Khan said.

He warned that US President Barack Obama's Afghan policy is 'exactly the same way as the mess' made by the previous George W Bush administration. Pakistan had 'absolutely no choice' other than to strike a deal with Taliban in Swat, he pointed out.

"My biggest worry is that the Obama administration is going exactly the same way as the mess made by the Bush administration. It's like the line from Alice in Wonderland. When you don't know where you're, every road takes you there," Khan was quoted as saying by CNN in an interview.

Khan termed the peace deal with Taliban as 'fairly moderate'. He also asked Obama to stop the drone attacks inside Pakistani tribal areas, saying there can be no military solution to insurgency.

"The Americans should have isolated Al Qaeda from the Taliban. The Taliban had nothing to do with terrorism. Yes, they were fundamentalists. But they were not terrorists."

"The US' attacks against the Taliban and then not being able to deliver on the promises of good governance brought things to the current mess in Afghanistan," he added.

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