Musharraf urges Russia to recognise Taliban
The Times of India
MOSCOW: Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has urged Russia to recognise Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia as means of restoring stability in the war-torn country.
Musharraf, in an interview published here on Thursday, also refused to rule out that Pakistan could in the future conduct new nuclear tests in response to India's own accumulation of atomic weaponry.
Musharraf told the Izvestiya daily that he recognised that relations between Pakistan and Russia - which traditionally allies itself to India in the region - had failed to improve significantly in recent years.
"I have a great desire to improve relations with Russia, because honestly speaking, they are not at the best right now," Musharraf said.
Russia says Pakistan is the prime sponsor of Taliban. Moscow accuses the guerrillas of supporting rebels in separatist Chechnya and trying to destabilise the whole Central Asian region.
However, Musharraf countered that peace would never be restored in Afghanistan unless Russian and other world powers recognised Taliban.
"Does russia ever want to see peace in Afghanistan?" he asked. "No one but the Taliban is capable of guaranteeing peace. Whether anyone wants this or not, but Taliban is a reality. This power has come to Afghanistan for a long time."
He added that Russia's recognition of Taliban would allow it to exercise some sway over the future of Afghanistan. "The only way to influence how Taliban acts is by peace. Whether anyone wants this or not, but Taliban is a reality. This power has come to Afghanistan for a long time."
He added that Russia's recognition of Taliban would allow it to exercise some sway over the future of Afghanistan. "The only way to influence how Taliban acts is by recognising its regime", he said. (AFP)
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