US okay with Pakistan holding talks with Taliban

Islamabad, Oct 25 (IANS) The US has supported Pakistan's initiative to start a dialogue with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), saying the move has strong domestic consensus.

Speaking at the conclusion of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit, a senior State Department official Thursday said the US has no objection to the aims laid out in the negotiation approach.

"He (Nawaz Sharif) indicated his intentions (to hold talks with the Taliban) and we indicated our support," the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted the official as saying.

"It is his decision. We are not trying to steer him in one direction or another. We certainly have no objections that there is a strong domestic consensus in, at least, trying a negotiated approach.

"As we understand, the conditions are that the TTP has to accept the constitution and the rule of law and of course we accept those objectives. We support those objectives," the official added.

Earlier, Sharif said the US was informed that Pakistan had made a conscious decision on holding talks with the Taliban as part of efforts to contain militancy and that Washington should support Islamabad's decision.


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