Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in an op-ed published by The Washington Post has said that his country opposes any military takeover of Afghanistan and that “the Taliban cannot win over the whole of the country, and yet must be included in any government for it to succeed.”
Taliban has intensified their attacks on Afghan forces over the last two months, especially when the US President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of American forces from the country by September 11.
At least 50 districts have either fallen to the Taliban or have remained contested between the two sides over the last two months – many of them without resistance by security forces. Sources told TOLOnews that many districts have fallen due to delay in deployment of reinforcements.
Khan said Pakistan is ready to be a partner for peace in Afghanistan with the United States — but as US troops withdraw, “we will avoid risking further conflict.”
Similar remarks were made by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in an interview with TOLOnews last week. He said Pakistan wants to partner with Afghanistan in the peace process.
“Our countries have the same interest in that long-suffering country,” Khan said.
“In the past, Pakistan made a mistake by choosing between warring Afghan parties, but we have learned from that experience,” Khan reiterated in the op-ed.
Back in Kabul, there are doubts among analysts and lawmakers in Pakistan’s approach towards Afghanistan especially when it comes to bringing the Taliban to the table of negotiations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday told TOLOnews that Pakistan should use its leverage on Taliban as an essential tool to help the Afghan peace process.
The ministry said there is a need for Pakistan’s sincere cooperation and the implementation of its commitments to Afghanistan to achieve peace in the country.