Pak, US finally agree on stance regarding Afghan peace process - Imran Khan | Eurasia Diary -

23 May, Thursday

Pak, US finally agree on stance regarding Afghan peace process - Imran Khan

PM Imran says, Pakistan’s role in the region finally being recognised

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that he is happy that the United States agreed with his party’s stance that there cannot be a military solution to the Afghan war.

While addressing a federal cabinet meeting, the premier spoke about his meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and said, “Khalilzad was sent by the US President Donald Trump to discuss the Afghan peace process and I am happy that I met him.”

“I am also happy that for the first time the US has recognised what we [PTI] have been saying for the past 15 years that there cannot be a military solution to the Afghan war,” he said.

“The US wants our help to establish peace in Afghanistan and I always believed that instead of ‘do more’ we should play a role in the Afghan peace process,” the prime minister told cabinet members.

“We will try our best to establish peace in Afghanistan through dialogue,” he added while lamenting that “we were treated as if we were being given funds to fight someone else’s war”.

“It is good that we have gotten the chance to play the role of a mediator rather than fighting someone else’s war,” PM Imran said, adding that “Pakistan’s role in the region is now being recognised”.

“Pakistan has always played an active role to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and it is a matter of great satisfaction that the United States has recognised Islamabad’s contribution to this effect,” the prime minister was reported as saying.

The premier also spoke about the Yemen issue and said, “I spoke to Saudi Arabia and Iran’s foreign minister regarding establishing peace in Yemen. The Iranian foreign minister asked us to play a role to bring an end to the Yemen war.”

Furthermore, while commenting on the Kartarpur corridor development, PM Imran said, “Unfortunately, India portrayed it as us seeking political advantage. During my swearing-in ceremony when Navjot Singh Sidhu visited we had discussed this.”

“I am glad that the government pressed for the opening of the corridor,” he added.

“If someone’s religious sites are in Pakistan then we should facilitate them. We are not doing anything new, these things were part of our manifesto,” the premier said.

“We have religious sites that are important for Hindus and Buddhists; we should open them up and facilitate the people,” he added.

Expressing happiness over the response from the Sikh community, PM Imran said, “Kartarpur is for them what Medina is for us.”

“We are hopeful that India will also respond positively,” the premier further said.

Furthermore, while commenting on the current state of the economy, the prime minister said, “Our economic teams performed in difficult circumstances and I want to give special credit to the finance, commerce and planning ministries.”

“Investment is coming in Pakistan but opponents make it seem that the country is in crisis,” he asserted and questioned how investment could have come in a crisis situation.

“Major multi-national companies have decided to invest millions of dollars in the country. A school will be opened for the transfer of technology and training to our people and credit for all this goes to our economic teams.”

“Our economic teams created an environment favourable for investment even in difficult times. Investments lead the country towards progress,” he stressed.

It was reported that, during the meeting, “Cabinet members are likely to review amendments in reforms for Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) as well as grant it status of an interim province. Minister for Kashmir affairs and the law minister will give a briefing regarding this matter.”

During the meeting,  the cabinet members will also review the supply to gas industries and transfer of matters of divisions which are under the Economic Affairs Division.

“The agenda also includes according approval for the formation of a board of trustee for Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and appointment of chairman Port Qasim Authority.”

Moreover, the reports said, “The agreements between anti-narcotics forces of Pakistan and Canada and approval for members of the Law and Justice Commission are also part of the agenda.”

Meanwhile, launching of a Rs50 coin to mark World Anti-Corruption Day will also be discussed.

Pakistan Today

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