- No country has tried harder to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table than Pakistan: Imran
- Says Afghanistan is the natural land bridge between Central Asia and South Asia
(Karachi) Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that it is unfair to blame Pakistan for the crisis in Afghanistan and no country has tried harder to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table than Pakistan.
Addressing the Central and South Asia Conference in Tashkent on Friday, the prime minister said that Pakistan is the most affected due to the Afghan conflict.
He added that Pakistan has lost 70,000 lives in the last 15 years and that escalation of the conflict would be the last thing Pakistan wanted. “Our economy is finally recovering, and we are going through one of the most difficult periods,” he said.
“I repeat, the mess in Afghanistan will be the last thing Pakistan wants. I can assure you that no country has done more than Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table,” he remarked.
“With the reduction of military action against the Taliban in Pakistan, we have made every effort to bring them to the negotiating table so that a peaceful settlement can take place,” he said.
“The whole point is to see Pakistan as a partner in peace. I am very disappointed that Pakistan is being blamed for what is happening in Afghanistan,” he pointed out.
He said that what is happening in Afghanistan is due to two decades of conflict and deep divisions. He said that the United States tried to find a military solution to the Afghan crisis but they failed in doing so.
"Why would the Taliban compromise now when the withdrawal date has been given and only a few thousand American troops remain."
He said Afghanistan is the natural land bridge between Central Asia and South Asia, and peace in Afghanistan is the most critical factor for regional connectivity.
"Pakistan's foremost priority is the stability in Afghanistan as it directly affects us."
He said Pakistan will continue to support all initiatives for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, adding that the country encourages all the neighbours and international stakeholders for their positive roles for a political settlement.