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Peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved through politically negotiated process: Imran Khan

07 December, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday 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 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 US 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.”

Imran Khan said Pakistan has always called for dialogue and a negotiated 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 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.

In his brief remarks aired by the state-run PTV, Imran Khan 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. He said it was Pakistan’s obligation to allow access to people of all religions to their places of worship, be they the Sikhs, Buddhists or others, and added that it was part of PTI’s manifesto. He said the Sikh community has positively responded to access to one of their holiest places in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly defended his financial team and its role in bolstering the national economy despite serious challenges. He particularly mentioned the role of the ministries of finance, commerce and planning in this regard. He said had the economic situation been that bad, there would have been no foreign investment into the country. He mentioned the investment pledge of $450 million by Suzuki, $200 million by Coca Cola, $400 million by Pepsi, an immediate investment of $200 million by Exxon Mobile and $900 million by JW Forland that would build for the first time a full-fledged car manufacturing plant in Pakistan. He said this company would also set up a tech school to train the workers and termed it a step forward in industrialization in the country. He said the credit goes to the economic team for bringing in foreign investment into the country.

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