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Talks with Taliban should be held but without preconditions: Army Chief Rawat

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

At a time the US and are reaching out to the in Afghanistan, Gen. Bipin said the terror outfit should be engaged but talks should be held with it without any preconditions.

The Chief's comments Wednesday, at the Raisina Dialogue, on engaging with were first such public remarks by a senior functionary of the government.

Gen. said peace and stability in will be in interests of India, and the entire region.

"Yes, there should be talks with so long as they do not come out with any preconditions and so long as they are looking at lasting peace in and bring about stability in that country. It is in our interests, it is in the region's interests and it is in Pakistan's interests," Gen. said.

He was asked about several countries engaging the Taliban as part of the Afghan peace process.

"There can be no preconditions attached because when you start attaching preconditions, then it kind of gives a sense of a notion of victory (to them)," he said.

The said has always kept the Taliban in its backyard and cautioned it may be a cause of concern for the country's security.

Major powers like the US and have been reaching out to the Taliban as part of efforts to push the stalled Afghan peace process.

has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in

In a significant move, had sent two former diplomats in "non official" capacity to a conference on Afghan peace process in in November which was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation.

The conference organised by was attended by representatives of Afghanistan as well as from several other countries including the US, and

has been maintaining a policy of not engaging with the Taliban and pressing for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace initiative to bring peace and stability in the war-ravaged country.

It is learnt that is also engaged in talks with the Taliban. Iranian sources have said that in wants to use Iran's channels of communication with the Taliban, will be open to such a proposition.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 19:35 IST