The abyss of negotiations in Afghanistan is deeper than the abyss on the battlefield: Imran Khan

 The abyss of negotiations in Afghanistan is deeper than the abyss on the battlefield: Imran Khan

"We have reached a rare moment of hope for Afghanistan and our region," said Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He wrote an opinion piece published in the Washington Times on September 26.

"No one has paid more for the conflict in Afghanistan than the people of Pakistan, except for the powerful Afghans themselves," he said. For decades, Pakistan has been tasked with caring for more than four million Afghan refugees during the conflict. Guns and drugs have flowed into our country. The wars have disrupted our economic trajectory and radicalized the periphery of our society. In the 1960s and '70s, Pakistan, where I grew up, changed in ways that were deeply troubling. "

According to him, the experience has taught Pakistan two important lessons: we have very close ties with Afghanistan so as not to overshadow Pakistan, and peace and political stability in Afghanistan cannot be established by force from outside.

"We understand that Pakistan will not know true peace until our Afghan brothers are at peace."

So when President Trump asked me to help Pakistan negotiate and find a political settlement in Afghanistan in late 2018, we didn’t hesitate to assure the president that Pakistan would make every effort to achieve that result - and we did, he said.

It was not easy to get there, he said, but we were able to walk with courage and resilience. "The United States and its allies have facilitated the exchange of prisoners between Kabul and the Taliban. "The Afghan government and the Taliban have responded to the Afghan people's desire for peace."

According to Khan, the talks will become more complicated and will require patience and compromise on all sides. However, he said, we must not forget that the bloodless deadlock on the negotiating table is infinitely better than the bloody abyss on the battlefield.

He also warned against the hasty withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan. "We must also be wary of regional disruptors who are not committed to peace, and see instability in Afghanistan as beneficial to their geopolitical goals."

"Pakistan will continue to support the Afghan people in their pursuit of a united, independent and sovereign Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors," he said, adding that Pakistan's peace talks should not be forced.

He says Pakistan does not want to make Afghanistan a sanctuary for international terrorism. "Since 9/11, more than 80,000 Pakistani security personnel and civilians have committed suicide in the largest and most successful fight against terrorism," he said. However, Pakistan continues to be the target of attacks by foreign terrorist groups based in Afghanistan.

These terrorist groups pose a clear threat to global peace, the prime minister said, and Pakistan believes that the Afghan government controls uncontrolled areas where terrorist groups can plan and carry out attacks.

"And it's time to start planning 'in a day' - how will the world help post-war Afghanistan achieve lasting peace? How can we create the conditions for millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and elsewhere to return home with dignity and honor?"

My vision for Pakistan is to prioritize development and prosperity for my country and our region through communication and economic diplomacy. Our initial talks with the U.S. International Finance Corporation (IFC) were gratifying, and it is heartwarming that the United States and Pakistan agree on the importance of a "peace dividend" for lasting peace in Afghanistan, he said.

"For Pakistan, regional peace and stability remain the key to realizing our people's aspirations for a better future. We are ready for multilateral cooperation to achieve this. "

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