Only negotiated settlement to bring lasting peace in Afghanistan: PM

Escalation of conflict and instability in Afghanistan not in Pakistan’s interest, Imran Khan tells Zalmay Khalilzad


News Desk July 19, 2021
PM Imran meets Zalmay Khalilzad and his delegation in Islamabad. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that the imposition of a government in Afghanistan by force would not lead to the resolution of the conflict and only a negotiated settlement would bring lasting peace and stability to Afghanistan.

He said that escalation of conflict and instability in Afghanistan was not in Pakistan’s interest as it would lead to serious challenges for Pakistan in areas of security and influx of refugees.

The prime minister was talking to US Special Envoy for Afghan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who is on day-long visit to Islamabad as part of a visit to the region.

During the meeting, the exchange of views covered the prevailing situation in Afghanistan and the need for expediting the Afghan peace process.

The prime minister highlighted Pakistan’s constructive efforts for facilitating peace efforts for achieving an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement to end over four decades-long conflict in Afghanistan.

Read more: Taliban urge Pakistan to 'arrest, punish' those involved in envoy daughter 'abduction'

He emphasised the need for all Afghan sides to show flexibility and engage meaningfully with each other. Durable peace in Afghanistan would open avenues for regional economic connectivity, he added.

PM Imran recalled that he had consistently emphasised that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Read: Kabul recalls envoy over ‘security threats’

Reaffirming Pakistan’s consistent support to a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan, the prime minister underlined that a secure and safe western border was in Pakistan’s own best interest and Pakistan would like to remain closely engaged with the US and other relevant countries for peace efforts.

The prime minister said that it was important for Afghanistan’s neighbours and regional countries to constructively work together for a lasting political settlement in Afghanistan as suggested by him at the recent Central Asia and South Asia Connectivity Conference in Tashkent.

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