File Photo: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. Reuters
Pakistan's prime minister says he has ``initiated a dialogue`` with the Taliban to prod them to form an inclusive government that would ensure peace and stability not only in Afghanistan but also in the region.
Imran Khan tweeted on Saturday that he took the initiative after his meetings this week in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with leaders of countries neighboring Afghanistan.
The Taliban last week announced an all-male interim government that includes no women or members of Afghanistan's minorities _ contrary to their earlier pledges on inclusivity. They have also since moved to curb women's rights, harking back to their harsh rule when they were in power in the 1990s.
Khan says he had detailed discussions with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's meeting in Dushanbe. The economic and security group is made up of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
``After meetings in Dushanbe with leaders of Afghanistan's neighbors and especially a lengthy discussion with Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon, I have initiated a dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghan govt to include Tajiks, Hazaras & Uzbeks'' Khan said in the tweet.
He said ``After 40 years of conflict, this inclusivity will ensure peace and a stable Afghanistan, which is in the interest not only of Afghanistan but the region as well.''
Khan did not say what form his dialogue would take or elaborate on his plans.