PAKISTAN – Prime Minister Imran Khan warned “a hasty international withdrawal would be unwise,” saying peace is within reach in Afghanistan.
In an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Saturday, Khan said, “All those who have invested in the Afghan peace process should resist the temptation for setting unrealistic timelines. A hasty international withdrawal from Afghanistan would be unwise.”
“We should also guard against regional spoilers who are not invested in peace and see instability in Afghanistan as advantageous for their own geopolitical ends,” he added.
Addressing some possible challenges during the peace process, Khan called for all parties to be patient and compromise when needed, saying a “bloodless deadlock on the negotiating table is infinitely better than a bloody stalemate on the battlefield.”
“The intra-Afghan negotiations are likely to be even more difficult, requiring patience and compromise from all sides,” he said. “Progress could be slow and painstaking; there may even be the occasional deadlock, as Afghans work together for their future.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister assured Pakistan will continue to support Afghan people in their quest for “unified, independent and sovereign Afghanistan”, which is at peace with itself and its neighboring counties.
“Pakistan believes that peace negotiations should not be conducted under coercion and urges all parties to reduce violence,” he said. “Just as the Afghan government has recognized the Taliban as a political reality, it is hoped that the Taliban would recognize the progress Afghanistan has made.”
Khan’s remarks came at a time Afghanistan is sitting with the Taliban delegation in Doha on a political settlement in the country, which will determine peace and stability in the country.