Small Wars Journal

Votel: U.S. Urging Pakistan to Help Bring Taliban to Negotiating Table

Votel: U.S. Urging Pakistan to Help Bring Taliban to Negotiating Table by John Grady - USNI News

Despite better cooperation between the Pakistani and Afghan military in taking on the Taliban and its allies, Islamabad needs to press the Taliban harder to come to the negotiating table, the commander of U.S. Central Command said on Thursday.

Army Gen. Joseph Votel added the time was ripe for such a move. He was particularly encouraged by the recently-agreed upon cease-fire between the Afghan government under President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban marking the end of Ramadan and movements toward peace inside and outside Afghanistan, he said speaking to Pentagon reporters via teleconference. The ceasefire marked a first in recent Afghan history.

As for steps Islamabad needs to take to further the peace process along, he said they needed either to expel or arrest the terrorists who operate across the mountainous frontier. “We’ve seen Pakistan move in some of the ways we’ve asked them to do,” but he called upon them to make those moves in a strategic manner in eliminating safe havens and not piece-meal raids.

Votel is in weekly communication with Pakistan’s military leaders about their domestic situation and Afghanistan…

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