KABUL: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks about a change in his country’s “decade-long” policy of pushing for strategic depth in Afghanistan to ensure that there was friendly government there.
“Any Afghan government chosen by the people is who Pakistan should deal with,” Khan said in an interview with the Western media. “Pakistan should not try to do any manipulation in Afghanistan.”
Pakistan has long been accused by Kabul of harboring and supporting Taliban leaders and fighters, whom Islamabad helped to power in 1996, even as the insurgent group fought the US-led foreign invasion of Afghanistan after the militant regime was toppled in 2001.
This comes as the President Ashraf Ghani earlier called on Pakistan to take practical steps in supporting the Afghan peace process.
Khan said that a lot depended on U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, with Pakistan’s and Afghanistan’s help, to carve out a settlement to avoid more bloodshed.
The Afghanistan Special Envoy to Pakistan, Mohammad Omer Daudzai said that the two sides have been attempting to provide guarantees over Islamabad-Kabul cooperation for Afghan peace. “We need a time-limit and we need its clarification,” he said. “When (you agree) on assisting with a political solution, you should say how do you need it. We reached this phase.”
Kabul blames Islamabad for supporting the Taliban group to implement its goals in Afghanistan.