Kabul wants world powers to step up pressure on Pakistan: US envoy

 
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United Nations, Jan. 18 (TNS): Returning from a UN Security Council visit to Afghanistan, US Ambassador Nikki Haley stressed the Kabul government wants world powers to step up pressure on Pakistan.

Haley joined the 14 other council envoys for talks with top Afghan leaders in Kabul at the weekend as the government considers holding peace talks with the Taliban to end decades of insurgency.

“They feel confident that the Taliban will be coming to the table,” Haley told reporters at UN headquarters.

While the peace talks will be Afghan-led, the Kabul government did request that the Security Council weigh in to bring Pakistan onboard.

“They did ask us for consensus to put further pressure on Pakistan to come to the table and change their behavior,” Haley said.

The Afghan government is making strides towards stability, she said, and “continue to make ten steps forward and with Pakistan they feel like they continue to take steps backward.”

“As long as they are supporting terrorism in Pakistan, the Afghan community is continuing to feel it is not safe,” she said.

Haley did not specify what measures could be taken to pressure Pakistan, but the council does have the power to impose sanctions.
Pakistan has long been accused of supporting the Taliban and various militant groups in Afghanistan — charges it denies.