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‘The US accepts PTI’s stance that there’s no military solution to Afghan problem’

December 6, 2018

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that now even the US is supporting what the PTI has been saying for the last 15 years — that there’s no military solution to the Afghan problem.

He was addressing a cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Thursday.

Briefing the cabinet members about his Wednesday meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, the prime minister said that Khalilzad was sent by US President Donald Trump to discuss the Afghan peace process. It gave me immense please when Khalilzad and his delegation accepted what has all along been our stance on the Afghan peace process. “They want our help to establish peace in Afghanistan and use whatever influence that we have over the [Afghan] Taliban,” he said.

Related: US seeks Pakistan’s cooperation for peace, stability in Afghanistan

“I always believed that our role was not to ‘do more’. It was to help establish peace in Afghanistan through dialogue and political settlement,” he said.

PM Khan said that Pakistan should have done this before but earlier we were treated as a country that was given aid to fight someone else’s war.

Talking about the Yemen crisis, the premier said that Pakistan also wants a peaceful resolution to the Yemen conflict and wants the peace process to be initiated for that purpose. “I have talked to the Saudis and even raised this issue with the Iranian foreign minister when he came to Pakistan,” he said, adding that the Iranian minister gave the go ahead for Pakistan to play a role in resolving the crisis.

It is unfortunate that India is portraying Pakistan’s decision to open the Kartarpur border as a move to gain political advantage. “We started a discussion on this when Navjot Sigh Sidhu came to my swearing-in ceremony,” said PM Khan. The premiere said that we should facilitate everyone who has their holy places in Pakistan.

Related: There is no economic crisis in Pakistan, says Asad Umar

The response we received from the Sikh community on the opening of Kartarpur was very positive, he said, adding that he hopes that India will reciprocate the same gesture in the future.

PM happy with economic team’s performance

The prime minister expressed his satisfaction over the performance of his economic team. He said that he would like to give credit to the finance ministry and the commerce ministry for performing under such difficult circumstances.

“If the situation is as bleak as our opponents paint, then investments would have stopped coming,” he said as he listed investment pledges made by different multinational companies including Suzuki Motors, Exxon Mobil and JW Forland, among others.

The appreciation from the prime minister came at a time when reports circulating in the media claim that he is not happy with the performance of his economic team led by Finance Minister Asad Umar.

Earlier this week, PM Khan had told a group of media persons that he could change the portfolio of ministers who won’t perform.


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