Only negotiated settlement will bring lasting peace in Afghanistan: Pakistani PM

by Sami Burgaz
Imran Khan meets US peace envoy Zalmay Khalizad in Islamabad, discusses prevailing situation in Afghanistan.

ISLAMABAD (AA) – The Pakistani prime minister on Monday reiterated that only a negotiated settlement will bring lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Imran Khan made the remarks during a meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for Afghan reconciliation, in the capital Islamabad.

According to a statement, the prevailing situation in Afghanistan was discussed amid the withdrawal of foreign troops and raging violence between the Taliban and Afghan security forces.

“Imposition of a government by force will not lead to the resolution of the conflict,” Khan said, adding that all Afghan sides should “show flexibility and engage meaningfully with each other.”

Ambassador Khalilzad was on a day-long visit to the Pakistani capital as part of a visit to the region. Efforts to come up with a solution to the Afghan conflict have intensified as the US and NATO forces leave the war-torn country by Sept. 11.

Meanwhile, Pakistan also welcomed the resumption of dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, calling a joint statement issued after the two-day talks a positive development.

“Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and that a negotiated political settlement through Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process is the only way forward,” said the Foreign Ministry.

Islamabad hoped that the Afghan sides will continue their engagement, which will help in the reduction of violence, weaken the hands of spoilers and pave the way for the establishment of sustainable peace in Afghanistan.


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