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Sheikh Rashid says PTI govt aware of ‘good, bad’ Taliban

Pakistan wants good relations with US and China: Rashid. (Source: APP)

KARACHI: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday asserted that the ruling Tehreek-e-Insaaf was aware of “good and bad Taliban” and the case of those involved in the massacre of the Army Public School (APS) is “different”.

Talking to journalists in Karachi, the federal minister backed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement over talks with banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), saying that was not appropriate to fight with those who surrendered to adopt peaceful lives.

Sheikh Rashid further said the government was making a strategy for the next 20 years, adding that the world scenario is expected to change soon. “No power can bypass Pakistan, he said, adding, “We want an inclusive government in Afghanistan.”

The interior minister assured that they would fight with the enemies of the country and vowed to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country at all costs.

Talking about the Afghanistan crisis, the minister gave an assurance of Pakistan’s every possible support in tackling the crisis. “The US signed the deal relating to the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan but not us,” he added.

Rashid added that the foreign ministers of Pakistan and the United States were in contact on the Afghan situation. In response to a question regarding US President Joe Biden’s visit, he said, “We would welcome anyone who visits us but would also send peace on those who don’t”.

Referring to the petrol prices, the minister said in Pakistan, the prices of petroleum products are much less as compared to India and Bangladesh. “The petrol prices will fall if they reach a deal with Saudi Arabia”, he added.

“Provision of food items and medicines at affordable rates to the masses was a top priority and the government’s national duty, the minister added.

Regarding the appointment of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, the minister said, “it will be decided this week”. Prime Minister Imran Khan, he added, is rather worried about the current levels of inflation in the country.

Pakistan in disarmament talks with TTP factions: PM Imran  

On October 1, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said Pakistan was in disarmament talks with some factions of the banned TTP as the government seeks stability in the country in the backdrop of a fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan.

PM Imran Khan, speaking to TRT World, had said, “I think some of the Pakistani Taliban groups actually want to talk to our government. You know, for some peace, for some reconciliation.”

When asked to confirm whether Pakistan was actually in talks with the TTP, the premier had clarified to say that talks are ongoing “with some of them”.