From Fasih Ahmed
ISLAMABAD:Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday expressed satisfaction over the vindication of Pakistan’s stance that peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved through a politically negotiated process.
“The United States for the first time recognised what the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has always been saying that there is no military solution to Afghanistan.” Imran Khan said in his remarks at a meeting of the federal cabinet here at the PM Office.
Imran Khan recalled his meeting with the US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and said he was pleased to note that PTI’s stance has been acknowledged. He said the United States of America recognizes Pakistan’s abiding interest in achieving peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through a political settlement. “Allah is great, instead of the demand for ‘do more’, today they are seeking our cooperation in finding a peaceful solution to Afghanistan.”
The US President Donald Trump, in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan had sought Pakistan’s support and facilitation in achieving, what he said was his most important regional priority for a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war.
Imran Khan said Pakistan has always called for dialogue and a negotiated peaceful settlement and said Pakistan’s role has been acknowledged. He said Pakistan would play its part in a mediated settlement, instead of fighting someone’s war.
Ambassador Khalilzad visited Islamabad as part of efforts by the US to seek its assistance in putting an end to the war in Afghanistan. In his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, the US envoy said the leadership of the United States of America looked forward to working with Pakistan in furthering the shared goal of peace through a political settlement in Afghanistan.
Prime Minister reiterated his long personal commitment to the cause of peace in the region and welcomed President Trump’s letter and the US’s assurance to work with Pakistan on this shared objective.
Imran Khan in his brief remarks, aired by the state run PTV said his government was also looking forward to play its part in seeking a mediated settlement to the crisis in Yemen. Referring to the reaction in India over the groundbreaking of Kartarpur, Imran Khan regretted that the goodwill gesture by Pakistan was being given a political tinge by India.