US for talks with “reconcilable” elements in tribal areas along Pak-Afghan border
Washington, Apr 12 : US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher has said that his country was in favour of holding parleys with the “reconcilable” elements in the tribal areas along the Pak-Afghan border.
He admitted that there were some in the tribal region who were “reconcilable”.
Asked who among the militants were not eligible for talks, Boucher said that the “irreconcilable” elements included hardcore Al Qaeda bombers and kidnappers who had also killed a lot of Pakistanis.
“But we also know a lot of tribal people who want peace, stability, and development,” he said and added that these were the ones who could be engaged in talks.
He said that negotiation with the militants hiding in the tribal area had always been part of Pakistan’s policy. “It’s part of the previous government’s policy and will be of a future government’s too,” he added.
But he also noted that the Pakistanis were being attacked every day in their own country. “Bombs going off, soldiers being killed, so when some people are trying to kill you; you are going to have to fight them,” the Dawn quoted Boucher as saying.
The US official, however, acknowledged that there were “other people in the tribal area who want peace and development and you have to talk to them.”
Boucher said that he met leaders from both the government and opposition groups during his recent visit to Pakistan and discussed the issue of terrorism with them. “We found the same spirit across the spectrum,” he said and added that the Pakistanis were as eager to fight terrorism as the US was.
Boucher said that he and Deputy Secretary John Negroponte talked about Al Qaeda’s presence in the tribal region when they visited Pakistan, but Pakistani security agencies were not only aware of their presence, they also know that Al Qaeda elements were behind the attacks they have to encounter. (ANI)