Only negotiated settlement would restore peace in Afghanistan: PM


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that durable peace in Afghanistan would open avenues for regional economic connectivity.
Talking to the US Special Envoy for Afghan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad on Monday, the prime minister said that escalation of conflict and instability in Afghanistan is not in Pakistan’s interest and it would lead to serious challenges for Islamabad regarding security and influx of refugees.
He 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.
He recalled that he has consistently emphasised that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. He said that imposition of a government by force will not lead to the resolution of the conflict and that only a negotiated settlement will bring lasting peace and stability to Afghanistan.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s consistent support to a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan, the prime minister underlined that a secure and safe Western border is 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 emphasised the need for all Afghan sides to show flexibility and engage meaningfully with each other. He said that it is 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.
The exchange of views covered the prevailing situation in Afghanistan and the need for expediting the Afghan peace process.
Meanwhile, a statement issued from the Embassy of the United States in Islamabad said that Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad emphasised the urgency of a comprehensive political settlement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, one that leads to a sustainable peace and preserves Afghanistan’s security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
He said continued war in Afghanistan poses a risk to the entire region and holds back its development. Peace, by contrast, will enable regional connectivity and increased trade and development, he was quoted as saying this in the statement.
“We commit to do our part to make this vision a reality. Tangible and material support for the Afghanistan peace process is vital for its ultimate success, as are positive long-term relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said Khalilzad. TLTP
ISLAMABAD, (TLTP): Prime Minister Imran Khan has congratulated his Nepalese counterpart, Sher Bahadur Deuba, on winning the vote of confidence from the country’s House of Representatives.
“Pakistan looks forward to further deepening its cordial ties with Nepal & would continue to work closely with Nepal on issues of common interest,” PM Imran said in a tweet on Monday.
A day earlier, Nepal’s new premier won a vote of confidence in parliament, days after the Supreme Court reinstated the legislature that was dissolved in May.
The 75-year-old, who has held the office four times before, won 165 votes – exceeding the 136 required – with 83 votes against him, parliament speaker Agni Sapkota said. – TLTP