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VP Pence urges Pakistan to 'do more' against Taliban

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File | The White House said Vice President Mike Pence repeated President Donald Trump's request that Pakistan increase its efforts to address the Taliban's presence

WASHINGTON (AFP) - 

US Vice President Mike Pence told Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that his country "must do more" against the Taliban and other militants, the White House said on Saturday.

"Vice President Pence reiterated President (Donald) Trump's request that the Government of Pakistan must do more to address the continued presence of the Taliban, Haqqani Network, and other terrorist groups operating in their country," the White House said in a statement on the Friday call.

"Pakistan could and should work closer with the United States," Pence said.

According to Washington, there is little sign that Islamabad has made a decision to end its support for the Taliban, which the country's powerful security services see as safeguarding its interests and as a bulwark against Indian influence in Kabul.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last month proposed peace talks with the Taliban, which could eventually be recognized as a political party if it observes a ceasefire and officially recognizes the Afghan government and constitution.

The Taliban has stopped short of rejecting the proposal, but its response has been muted.

© 2018 AFP