Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Thursday that every Pakistani desired peace and stability in Afghanistan as no other country needed a peaceful Afghanistan more than Pakistan.
The remarks were made during a meeting with Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal in Islamabad, Express News reported. Bilateral relations between the two countries and matters of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting.
Imran said Afghan refugees were being treated like ‘guests’ in Pakistan and the masses had nothing but utter respect for their neighbours.
“The future of bilateral ties between the two countries is based on coexistence,” remarked the PTI chief.
Khan said that closure of Pak-Afghan border was not a solution to issues and free-trade and ease in movement was in the interest of the two countries. Both governments will have to improve and strengthen the decades-long bilateral ties, he added.
“The geography makes us inseparable from each other.”
The friendly remarks made in today’s meeting, however, contradict the PTI chief’s recent statement on the issue earlier this month, when he said that he had always opposed Pakistan fighting the ‘war on terror’ on behalf of the United States.
Fighting someone else’s war as a ‘gun for hire’ had bred violence and terror in the country, Imran was quoted as saying in his party’s official statement regarding the ongoing foreign policy crisis sparked by a tweet from US President Donald Trump, in which the latter had urged Pakistan to ‘do more’ to eliminate terrorist safe havens on its soil.
“We have suffered 70,000 casualties and more than $100b in losses to the economy, not to mention the polarisation and radicalisation of our society,” said the PTI chief.