Will do everything to ensure peace in Afghanistan: Imran Khan
Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday that Pakistan will do everything within its power to further the peace process in Afghanistan as talks sponsored by the country between the US and the Taliban were being held in the UAE to end the 17-year bloody conflict.
The US and the Taliban have previously met on at least two occasions in Qatar but it is the first time that they are holding talks outside Doha, where the insurgent group has a political office, according to officials.
Khan highlighted the role being played by Pakistan in holding the talks between the US and the Taliban in Abu Dhabi.
He expressed his desire for peace to end the sufferings of the people of Afghanistan.
“Pakistan has helped in the dialogue between the Taliban and the US in Abu Dhabi. Let us pray that this leads to peace and ends almost three decades of suffering of the brave Afghan people,” Khan said on Twitter
Khan also said “Pakistan will be doing everything within its power to further the peace process”.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan were the only three nations to recognise the Taliban government during its five-year rule from 1996-2001.
The Taliban are fighting to flush out international forces and re-establish their regime in Afghanistan after their ouster in 2001.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan has voiced appreciation for the “flexibility” shown by its “strategic partner” the US in exempting the Chabahar port project, being developed by India, from its tough sanctions against Iran.
Last month, the Trump administration exempted India from imposition of certain sanctions for the development of the strategically-located Chabahar Port in Iran, along with the construction of the railway line connecting it with Afghanistan.
The US had imposed “the toughest ever” sanctions on a defiant Iran aimed at altering the Iranian regime’s “behaviour”. The sanctions cover Iran’s banking and energy sectors and reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports.
However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said that eight countries — India, China, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey — were temporarily allowed to continue buying Iranian oil as they showed “significant reduction” in oil purchase from the Persian Gulf country.
“The Chabahar Port remains an important gateway for providing commercially viable access to the sea linking the Indian Ocean with Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond. In this regard, we appreciate the collaboration and flexibility of our strategic partner, the United States to work with Afghanistan, Iran and India towards exempting the port from its Sanctions, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Mahmoud Saikal said Monday at a Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan.