Washington: Amidst talk of reconciliation with the Taliban in Afghanistan, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said it is too early for the Karzai government to be able to persuade top Taliban leaders to shun their violent ways.
Addressing a House committee, Gates said talks are necessary, but for a positive outcome it is important that the Afghanistan government is in a position of strength and the ‘Taliban convinced they are going to lose’.
“I don`t think we`re there yet,” The News quoted Gates, as saying.
Earlier, Gates told a congressional hearing that Pakistan has now realised the fact that the Taliban presents an acute threat to the democratic set up of the country.
He said Islamabad understands that it is facing an ‘existential threat’ from the banned terror outfit.
“It really has been extraordinary in my view, seeing what Pakistan has done over the last more than a year - in terms of becoming engaged, in terms of their operations and in terms of understanding they now face an existential threat,” Gates said.