Pakistan has called for the Afghan government in Kabul to engage in unconditional dialogue with the Taliban.
As reported by Radio Pakistan, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, made the call while engaging in a debate on Afghanistan in the General Assembly. Lodhi stated that the war in Afghanistan could only end with a diplomatic solution.
From yesterday in the UNGA pic.twitter.com/RWQI5oZfdC— Maleeha Lodhi (@LodhiMaleeha) November 22, 2017
She reiterated Pakistan's stance that a military solution would not work and only a political settlement was a viable path to end years of conflict and suffering. Lodhi urged the Afghan Taliban to cease violent activities and engage in dialogue.
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Ambassador Lodhi made clear that Pakistan viewed cooperation between itself and Afghanistan as central to maintaining peace in the region, and she hoped that Afghanistan would assist Islamabad in bolstering border controls.
She highlighted the contribution Pakistan had made in providing education to thousands of Afghan citizens and also took the opportunity to congratulate Afghanistan for winning the Under 19 Asia Cup recently. Her fervent wish was that the historic bonds of religion, culture and geography be strengthened between Pakistan and Afghanistan by expanding cooperation on trade and economic issues.
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Lodhi had also stated Pakistan's desire for peace in Pakistan while speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on Saturday. “Indeed, no one desires peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan,” the ambassador had said, highlighting that Pakistan and its people had also suffered from four decades of the Afghan conflict.
Over 27,000 Pakistanis, including 6,500 military and law enforcement personnel, were martyred by terrorists. While economic losses are estimated at $120 billion. Yet the country has been hosting over 2.5 million Afghan refugees for the last 30 years.
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