No military solution to Afghan issue: PM

NEW YORK, Sep 23 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, terming suspension of Afghan peace process as unfortunate, reiterated Pakistan’s consistent stance that there was no military solution to the war weary Afghanistan.

Responding to questions during a conversation with in the US based think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), he said that right from 2008, when President Obama had not assumed his office, he had been reminding the senior officials in the US administration that there was no military solution to the Afghan issue due to its history and past experiences.

The Soviet had killed one million Afghans and the British had tried thrice as evident from the history, but no one succeeded, he added.

The prime minister said previously, no one understood Afghanistan and the US officials had no clue about what was going on in that country.

He said : “This madness continued for long time. The US did not succeed in Afghanistan due to its long history till fortunately President Trump did well by forcing his aides to hold negotiations.”

The prime minister expressed his optimism that soon the peace process which had been in limbo would restart. If the US had not succeeded in the last 19 years, how could it succeed in the next nineteen years because the military was no solution to this complex issue, he added.

Prime minister Khan said “Things had changed since 2001, you had crossed the river once. Taliban had changed as they realized that they could not control all Afghanistan and the Afghanistan government had also concluded that peace deal could be brokered through a political
settlement.”

“You have the two choices either to fight or have a political settlement.

The latter choice was the only way to bring about peace, though it is tough
and not easy one,” he emphasized.

The prime minister said the people in the war-torn country deserved durable peace as they had suffered badly in the last the forty years, where people had been dying due to bomb blasts.

As human beings, they prayed that there should be peace in Afghanistan, he said, adding once the peace talks restarted, things could be thrashed out. “People of Afghanistan want peace,” he said.

The prime minister said he believed that Taliban were more accommodating now. They wanted to meet him, but he could not as the Afghan government did not want it happen, he said, adding, he also told Afghan president Ashraf Ghani that he could try to convince them to talk to the Afghan government.

The prime minister said Pakistan had been fencing the long border with Afghanistan which was known as Durand Line.

He said Pakistan was still hosting about 2.7 million of Afghan refugees.

READ MORE: Imran Khan’s US visit is “Mission Kashmir” basically.Naeem Ul Haque

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