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ISLAMABAD: US Special Envoy for Afghan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad called on Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday, said a press release issued on Monday. The exchange of views covered the prevailing situation in Afghanistan and the need for expediting the Afghan peace process.

The prime minister highlighted Pakistan's constructive efforts for facilitating peace efforts for achieving an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement to end over four decades long conflict in Afghanistan.

He said that the escalation of conflict and instability in Afghanistan was not in Pakistan's interest as it would lead to serious challenges for Pakistan in areas of security and influx of refugees, adding that durable peace in Afghanistan would open avenues for regional economic connectivity.

The prime minister recalled that he has consistently emphasized that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

He added that imposition of a government by force will not lead to the resolution of the conflict and that only a negotiated settlement will bring lasting peace and stability to Afghanistan.

Reaffirming Pakistan's consistent support to a peaceful, stable and united Afghanistan, the prime minister underlined that a secure and safe Western border was in Pakistan's own best interest and Pakistan would like to remain closely engaged with the US and other relevant countries for peace efforts.

He emphasized the need for all Afghan sides to show flexibility and engage meaningfully with each other.

Prime Minister Imran Khan added that as suggested by him at the recent Central Asia and South Asia Connectivity Conference in Tashkent, it was important for Afghanistan's neighbours and regional countries to constructively work together for a lasting political settlement in Afghanistan. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is on a one-day visit to Islamabad as part of a visit to the region.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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