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Pakistan ready to be a partner for peace but will not host US bases: Imran Khan

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(Last Updated On: June 22, 2021)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his country is ready to be a partner for peace in Afghanistan with the United States but that it will not host US military bases.

In an opinion article for the Washington Post, Khan said: “Our countries have the same interest in that long-suffering country: a political settlement, stability, economic development and the denial of any haven for terrorists.

“We oppose any military takeover of Afghanistan, which will lead only to decades of civil war, as the Taliban cannot win over the whole of the country, and yet must be included in any government for it to succeed,” he wrote.

He acknowledged that in the past, Pakistan had made a mistake by choosing between warring Afghan parties, “but we have learned from that experience. We have no favorites and will work with any government that enjoys the confidence of the Afghan people. History proves that Afghanistan can never be controlled from the outside”, he said.

Khan also said that after joining the US effort to bring stability to Afghanistan, his country was targeted as a collaborator which in turn led to terrorism attacks against his country.

He also said that US drone attacks did not win the war but instead created hatred for Americans “swelling the ranks of terrorist groups against both our countries.”

Khan also stated that the United States pressured Pakistan to send its troops into the semi autonomous tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, “in the false expectation that it would end the insurgency. It didn’t, but it did internally displace half the population of the tribal areas, 1 million people in North Waziristan alone, with billions of dollars of damage done and whole villages destroyed.”

He said the “collateral” damage to civilians in that incursion led to suicide attacks against the Pakistani army, killing many more soldiers than the United States lost in Afghanistan and Iraq combined, while breeding even more terrorism against Pakistan.

Khan also stated that there are more than three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and in the event of another civil war, instead of a political settlement, there will be many more refugees, which will further destabilize and impoverish the frontier areas along the border.

He said that if Pakistan were to agree to host US bases, from which to bomb Afghanistan, and an Afghan civil war ensued, Pakistan would be targeted for revenge.

“We simply cannot afford this. We have already paid too heavy a price.”

He also stated that if the United States, “with the most powerful military machine in history”, could not win the war from inside Afghanistan after 20 years, how would America do it from bases in Pakistan?”

Khan said Pakistan and the US share the same interests – they both want a negotiated peace, not civil war.

He said Pakistan supports an agreement that preserves the development gains made in Afghanistan in the past two decades, economic development, and increased trade and connectivity in Central Asia.

“We will all go down the drain if there is further civil war,” he stated.

According to him, Pakistan has worked hard to get the Taliban to the peace talks table, “first with the Americans, and then with the Afghan government.”

He also said however that Pakistan knows if the Taliban tries to declare a military victory, it will lead to endless bloodshed.

But he said Islamabad hopes the Afghan government will show more flexibility in the talks, and stop blaming Pakistan.

In conclusion he said he believes that promoting economic connectivity and regional trade is the key to lasting peace and security in Afghanistan. “Further military action is futile.”

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Five security force members ‘brutally killed’ in Kabul: Sources

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2021)

Five security personnel were “brutally” killed by Taliban militants in Shakar Dara district of Kabul, sources said Sunday.

The incident reportedly took place in the Haji Paik area on Friday night.

According to the sources, the Taliban militants first tortured and then killed the men.

Gowhar Khan Baburi, Governor of Shakar Dara district, said Sunday that the militants had installed a checkpoint in the Haji Paik area where they identified the security force members.

The Taliban stated that the victims were members of the Afghan security forces but denied its involvement in the incident.

In a separate incident, two military personnel – including a student from Marshal Fahim Military University – were killed in the Kalakan district of Kabul.

The incident happened in the Pule Baboch area close to the district’s compound on Saturday night, sources said.

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China and Pakistan call for ceasefire in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2021)

Pakistan and China on Saturday called on all Afghan stakeholders to agree to a ceasefire and work together to achieve an inclusive peace agreement and political settlement.

According to Dawn News, the call was made by the two sides during a foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue in Chengdu in Sichuan province in China.

A statement issued by China and Pakistan said the two countries had reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate and support an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation says peace talks are the best way to address Afghanistan issues and that the Taliban cannot impose their “will” on the people of Afghanistan through military force.

Speaking in an interview with Al-Jazeera, Abdullah stated that the Taliban have to seek their goal through peace talks.

“Taliban cannot convert the whole population of Afghanistan into Taliban. Talibanization of Afghanistan is not acceptable,” Abdullah said.

“Peaceful settlement is much better option than the continuation of the war we continue we will continue to make these efforts,” he stated.

“We have different opinions about these things can we find ways to not to fight for imposing our way of life upon the people but to compete for it uh to contest for it through civilian means through peaceful means,” he stressed.

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Abdullah says ‘Talibanization’ of the country not possible

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2021)

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, says that the Taliban cannot impose their “will” on the people of Afghanistan through military force.

Speaking in an interview with Al-Jazeera, Abdullah stated that the Taliban have to seek their goal through peace talks.

“Taliban cannot convert the whole population of Afghanistan into Taliban. Talibanization of Afghanistan is not acceptable,” Abdullah said.

This comes as the Taliban have intensified attacks across Afghanistan. According to reports, the Taliban have seized control of half of the districts in Afghanistan.

Abdullah, however, stated that these gains are temporary.

“Yes of course they feel at this moment that they have the upper hand militarily on the ground and that will not last that way,” he noted.
Abdullah says peace talks are the best way to address Afghanistan issues.

“Peaceful settlement is much better option than the continuation of the war we continue we will continue to make these efforts,” he stated.

“We have different opinions about these things can we find ways to not to fight for imposing our way of life upon the people but to compete for it uh to contest for it through civilian means through peaceful means,” he stressed.

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