Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday expressed satisfaction over the vindication of Pakistan’s stance that peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved through a politically negotiated process.
“The United States for the first time recognised what the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has always been saying: that there is no military solution to Afghanistan,” Khan said in his remarks at a meeting of the federal cabinet here at the PM Office.
Khan recalled his meeting with the US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and said he was pleased to note that PTI’s stance has been acknowledged.
He said the United States recognises Pakistan’s abiding interest in achieving peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan through a political settlement.
“Allah is great, instead of the demand for ‘do more’, today they are seeking our cooperation in finding a peaceful solution to Afghanistan,” he said.
US President Donald Trump, in a letter to Prime Minister Khan, had sought Pakistan’s support and facilitation in achieving what he said was his most important regional priority: a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war.
Khan said Pakistan has always called for dialogue and a negotiated peaceful settlement and said Pakistan’s role has been acknowledged. He said Pakistan would play its part in a mediated settlement, instead of fighting someone’s war.
Khan defends progress
Ambassador Khalilzad visited Islamabad as part of efforts by the US to seek its assistance in putting an end to the war in Afghanistan. In his meeting with Khan, the US envoy said the United States leadership looked forward to working with Pakistan in furthering the shared goal of peace through a political settlement in Afghanistan.
Khan reiterated his long personal commitment to peace in the region and welcomed Trump’s letter and the US’s assurance to work with Pakistan on this shared objective.
Khan, in his brief remarks aired by the state-run PTV, said his government was also looking forward to play its part in seeking a mediated settlement to the crisis in Yemen.
Referring to the reaction in India over the groundbreaking of Kartarpur, Khan regretted that the goodwill gesture by Pakistan was being given a political tinge by India.
He said it was Pakistan’s obligation to allow access to people of all religions to their places of worship, be they the Sikhs, Buddhists or others and added it was part of PTI’s manifesto. He said the Sikh community has positively responded to Pakistan granting access to one of their holy shrines in Pakistan.
Khan strongly defended his financial team and its role in bolstering the national economy despite serious challenges. He particularly mentioned the role of the Ministries of Finance, Commerce and Planning.
Considering the poor economic situation, there would have been no foreign investment into the country. He mentioned the investment pledge of $450 million (Dh1.65 billion) by Suzuki, $200 million by Coca Cola, $400 million by Pepsi, an immediate investment of $200 million by Exxon Mobile and $900 million by JW Forland, that would initiate for the first time a full fledged car manufacturing plant in Pakistan. He said the company would also set up a tech school to train the workers and termed it a step forward in industrialisation in the country.
He said the credit goes to the economic team for bringing in foreign investment into the country.