WASHINGTON: The dialogue with Taliban militants may start in the next few days, says Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.
In an interview to Dawn, Mr Aziz said the government had already covered a lot of grounds and “talks with the Taliban is likely to start in the next few days.”
The adviser said he hoped that Mr Sharif’s four-day visit to Washington this week would lead to a better understanding between the two countries on all major issues, including the drones.
The drone attacks would significantly reduce by the end of this year, he added.
He regretted a Washington Post story published on Thursday, a day after the prime minister completed his US trip, claiming that Pakistan had not only endorsed the drone attacks but also sometimes participated in selecting targets.
“The story and its timing … all very unfortunate,” Mr Aziz said. “Mr Musharraf may have given a verbal understanding but there’s no written agreement.”
Asked to comment on the controversy involving Pakistani-American scientist Aafia Siddiqui, Mr Aziz said the prime minister had “mentioned (zikr kia tha)” this issue in his meetings with US officials but gave no further details.
The adviser confirmed that American officials and lawmakers had asked the prime minister to release Dr Shakil Afridi, start the trial of Mumbai terror suspects and take action against Hafiz Saeed.
Mr Aziz did not respond when asked if the prime minister had also asked the Americans to share civil nuclear technology with Pakistan as it was doing with India.
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