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Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman calls for strong ties between Taliban and Pakistan to eliminate terrorism

Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, leader of Pakistan’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Party, has called for strong relations between Pakistan and the Taliban in order to eliminate terrorism.

Fazal-ur-Rehman made the call at a tribal jirga in Peshawar following a deadly suicide attack in the Bajaur region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The attack that targeted a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam gathering killed 63 and injured nearly 200 citizens of Pakistan.

According to the Pakistani newspaper DAWN, Fazal-ur-Rehman said that the jirga “demands effective steps to restore law and order” and that “strong bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan” are important to “weed out terrorism.”

Mahmood Khan Achakzai, the Chairman of Pakistan’s Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, also spoke at the Jirga and claimed that the “ongoing bloodshed and violence on Pakhtun and Afghan lands” is not a social or cultural phenomenon, but rather the result of “proxy wars waged by the international powers for their vested interests.”

According to the newspaper, Achakzai said that it is “not feasible to not allow movement from one country to the other” and that Pakistan and Afghanistan must “make a joint strategy and further strengthen their relations.”

He called for the United Nations to convene a special meeting involving Afghanistan and its neighbors to “present their reservations and reach a consensus on respecting each other’s sovereignty and independence while adhering to the principles of non-interference and peaceful co-existence.”

Terrorist attacks have surged across Pakistan in recent years targeting Pakistani security forces and civilians. Pakistan officials have blamed the Taliban for the escalating terror-related insecurity in Pakistan, mainly for harboring the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).