By: Lailuma Noori
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says he will meet with the Taliban group when he returns to Islamabad.
“Taliban delegation wanted to meet me few months back… It is because I always maintained that there was no military solution to the war in Afghanistan,” Khan said at the US Institute of Peace.
He said that the Taliban “wanted to meet him but the Afghan government at that point did not want him to meet the group.
“So, I did not meet them, but when I go back after meeting President [Donald] Trump and also, I spoke to President Ghani, now I will meet with the Taliban and I will try my best to get them to talk to the Afghan government and so that the election in Afghanistan must be an inclusive election where the Taliban will also, participate in it,” he added.
Earlier US President Donald Trump in a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington said that his country’s relations with Pakistan have improved comparing to past few years, hoping Pakistan would help find a political settlement to end the 18-year long war in Afghanistan.
Pointing to billions dollars of aid to Pakistan, the US President said his country would probably resume to provide $1.3 billion in aid to Pakistan. The aid was stopped last year.
Last year, US President Donald Trump in a tweet criticized Pakistan and put an end to aid to Pakistan.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” Trump tweeted.
Pakistan has been always accused of supporting the Taliban group in the past. Now, we’ll see what cooperation Pakistan will provide in connection with Afghanistan peace process. As a neighboring of Afghanistan, Pakistan should honestly take practical steps towards the Afghan peace process as the country has never taken practical steps towards maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan despite the fact that the country has always committed to doing so in the past.
Afghan political experts believe that Pakistan has no other way except cooperation with Afghanistan in maintaining peace and stability in the country as it is facing with increasing pressures inside and outside of the country.
If Pakistan convinces the Taliban to talk to Afghanistan government, restoration of peace in the country and the region will be possible. Now, it is time that Pakistan stops supporting the Taliban and other terrorist groups fighting against Afghanistan government and killing innocent civilians on the daily basis.
Imran Khan’s remarks to convince the Taliban groups for talks to Afghanistan government comes after US special peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is in Kabul and getting ready for another round of talks between the Taliban and US delegates.