AUG 21, 2018: Pakistan will only be ally with the US for peace in Afghanistan and the region, says Prime Minister Imran Khan days after news report appeared that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells will be visiting Islamabad to reset button on Pak-US relations before flying to New Delhi.
Pakistan will not gonna be an ally in war, Khan Sahib clarified. There is a consensus in Pakistan that there’s no military solution in Afghanistan, the newly sworn-in PM added. “Therefore for political solution, we would want to be an ally in peace with the US. It’s time to give peace a chance.”
Alice Wells on Monday commended Khan for his words as he discussed the importance of having peace on both sides of the border.
“We look forward to working with new government (in Pakistan). We are urging them to do more. We welcome (Pakistan Prime Minister) Imran Khan’s words when he discussed the importance of having peace on both sides of the border,” Wells said.
Pompeo, who is expected in Islamabad on Sept 5, will likely be the first foreign dignitary to meet the newly elected prime minister, who took oath of his office on Saturday.
On Sunday the top US diplomat hailed the possibility of a brief cease-fire in Afghanistan, saying it is “time for peace” in the country where U.S. troops continue to fight in the longest-running war in American history.
Khan Sahib expanded his “ally for peace” mantra by adding, “ally for peace doesn’t mean taking an anti-US stance, the people in the US must understand. Pakistan has moved forward.”
Earlier this week, US officials urged Pakistan to help end the Afghan war, adding that recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan have not discouraged them from negotiating peace with some Taliban factions.
Addressing a presser on Monday, Wells underscored that Pakistan has a critical role to play in the long-term stability of Afghanistan, adding; “We encourage Pakistan to take stronger steps to ensure that the Taliban comes to the negotiating table rather than enjoying safe havens in the country. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan embarked an effort to improve their ties for negotiating a solidarity document which we strongly support.”
Throwing light on the Indian role in Afghanistan, the 55-year-old diplomat said ; “India is supporting the economic development of Afghanistan up to 2020.”
She added that Washington wishes to build its long-standing commitment to the region and has taken important steps to ensure the region’s future is free, open and operate in a rule-based system.
Wells informed that that Washington made a major investment in strengthening security cooperation across the region.
Last year, President Donald Trump said that, instead of going with his “original instinct” to withdraw U.S. forces, he would keep troops in Afghanistan, where they have been for nearly 17 years.
But NBC News reported on Friday that Trump is showing increasing interest in a plan to privatize the war, which has been promoted by Erik Prince, who founded the private military company formerly known as Blackwater.