Pakistan President Arif Alvi says Islamabad wants peace in Afghanistan
Pakistan President Arif Alvi made it clear on Thursday that his country won’t become “a base of US action in Afghanistan” after withdrawal of its troops from the neighbouring country in September.
“I am not aware and I don’t think Pakistan will be in a position to offer that,” President Alvi said in an interview with VoA.
In his April 13 speech, President Joe Biden said the US would “reorganize our counterterrorism capabilities and the substantial assets in the region to prevent reemergence of terrorists – of the threat to our homeland from over the horizon”. He announced that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan would begin from May 1 and it would be completed by September 11.
Pakistan reportedly provided bases to the US to operate drones at one time, but President Alvi said he was not aware of any such request from Washington. “It’s a hypothetical question,” he said.
He didn’t think that the US needed any “increased intelligence presence or a bigger footprint in Pakistan” after withdrawal of its troops.
“I think we should be careful in ensuring the fact that Pakistan doesn’t become a base of US action in Afghanistan of any sort,” President Alvi said.
He went on to say that Pakistan would help Afghanistan rebuild itself, adding that Islamabad would not want intra-Afghan talks to fail.
“Pakistan wants to encourage the people of Afghanistan to come to a solution,” the president said. Islamabad has been using its “influence” to encourage Taliban to come to a peaceful solution, he said.
“We want peace in Afghanistan,” the Pakistan president said.
But, he said, Pakistan’s arch-rival India was playing a “negative role” in the Afghan peace process.
“It has never accepted the Doha talks, it has never encouraged the Doha talks,” President Alvi said of New Delhi.
He said he suspected that India would continue to operate in that manner.