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The Interview

'We will never bow to Pakistan', Afghan vice-presidential candidate Amrullah Saleh says

Amrullah Saleh, a vice-presidential candidate for the next elections in Afghanistan and former head of the country's intelligence services, gave an interview to FRANCE 24. He discussed the ongoing talks between the US and the Taliban, as well as Afghanistan's ties with neighbouring Pakistan.

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Amrullah Saleh urged the US to include the Afghan government in its current negotiations with the Taliban. He hinted that such an involvement was needed to make the negotiations successful. He also indicated that the Afghan authorities were ready to participate in future talks and trusted their US ally not to "negotiate behind our backs".

Saleh blasted the suggestion by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to create an interim government in Afghanistan to conduct talks with the Taliban, warning that Khan "should be very careful" with Afghanistan and accusing Pakistan of "sponsoring terror".

"What we are communicating to Pakistanis is: We can be your allies but we will never bow to you", the former Afghan intelligence chief explained.

Finally, Saleh denied a claim by a Dutch journalist that the former Taliban leader Mullah Omar was hiding for years in Afghanistan instead of Pakistan, branding her work "Harry Potter-like fiction".

Programme prepared by Narimène Laouadi and Anne Pouzargues.

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