Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Pakistani Taliban as a schoolgirl, said that the Imran Khan government should not "uplift" the Taliban.
Her comments came after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government held talks with some groups of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). In an interview with Dawn News, Malala said, "In my opinion, you enter into agreements when you believe that the concerns of the other side should be taken seriously or they are a powerful authority."
"But the Taliban have no public-level support, people from none of the areas in Pakistan are saying that they want a Taliban government. So, in my opinion, we should not uplift the Pakistan Taliban," she added.
Earlier this month, Imran Khan had said that his government is in talks with some groups of the banned TTP with the aim of having the group lay down their weapons and making them agree to adhere to the country's Constitution.
Speaking about the Taliban in general, Malala said there should be no distinction between the "good" and "bad" Taliban."One should not differentiate between the good and bad [Taliban] as their thinking is the same -- of repression [and] forcing their own laws," Dawn quoted Malala as saying.
She reiterated that the Taliban took repressive measures, adding that they were against women's rights, girls` education and there was no justice in their governance. When asked about girls` education -- a cause she has been working for years -- Malala expressed worry over the situation in Afghanistan. "The current temporary restriction on girls’ education in Afghanistan shouldn't turn out to be as long as in Taliban`s first tenure in the government when the ban stretched for five years," she said, adding that she feared that.
"We don't want a repeat of their previous rule." However, she added, pressure on the Taliban from activists and Afghan women was a positive sign. Speaking about the Malala Fund, her non-profit organization, and its role in Afghanistan, she said the fund was working there since 2017 and thus far, USD 2 million had been invested in digital and female education, Dawn reported.