Banned TTP is Pakistan’s ‘absolute red line’: FM Bilawal

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Claims polls wwould be held in due time

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari says it has been communicated to Afghanistan that banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is Pakistan’s red line.

“The Afghan Taliban have been told that our [Pakistan and Afghanistan] ties will not remain fine if the TTP is not stopped,” Bilawal said.

An increase in the number of terror incidents has put the security apparatus in the country on high alert with the most recent Bannu hostage crisis sending shockwaves across the country.

Further, in a media talk at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, FM Bilawal said Pakistan is willing to provide assistance to Afghanistan for operations against militants but it cannot be ignored if it was proved that the Afghan Taliban are not stopping the TTP.

The Taliban leaders also pledged before the US and the entire world to take action against militant groups on Afghan soil, he added.

Moving on to counterterrorism in Pakistan, FM Bilawal said that no new agreement has been signed with the United States over it.

“Pakistan seeks funds for Afghanistan for its people instead of the Afghan Taliban,” the minister said.

Responding to a question regarding the sale of state-owned buildings in the US, Bilawal said that the sale of the building owned by the Pakistani embassy is necessary.

The authorities in Pakistan are preparing to sell a state-owned building in Washington DC, present in one of the poshest areas of the US capital, it had emerged earlier.

Bilawal said that the structure of the building is deteriorating and the taxes and other expenses on its renovation could be much higher.

He, however, said that he is not in favour of the state-owned building of a hotel in New York.

While responding to a question about general elections in Pakistan, the foreign minister said that the polls will be held in due time.