Khan underlines negotiated settlement to Afghan war

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PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The return of peace to Afghanistan will have lasting benefits for the region and beyond in terms of economic development, trade and improved connectivity, believes the Pakistani prime minister.

At a meeting in Islamabad with Ahmad Wali Massoud, the Massoud Foundation head, Premier Imran Khan reaffirmed his conviction that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

A negotiated political settlement to the conflict in the neighbouring country was the only way forward, Khan said in a statement from his office after the meeting on Thursday evening.

Pakistan and Afghanistan were bound by a fraternal relationship, rooted deep in shared history and commonalities of faith, culture and traditions, the prime minister remarked.

He commended the enormous contribution of late Ahmed Shah Massoud, a veteran mujahideen leader, during the Afghan resistance movement, the statement added.

With regard to the Afghan peace process, he said that Pakistan had extended full support to facilitate the US-Taliban peace agreement and the initiation of intra-Afghan negotiations.

Khan viewed the intra-Afghan talks as a “historic opportunity, which must be seized by the Afghan leadership to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

Pakistan had been underlining the need for all sides to work together constructively, take steps for reduction of violence leading to a ceasefire and secure a political solution for the sake of a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

Massoud’s trip to Islamabad is part of Pakistan’s policy to reach out to the Afghan leaders to further strengthen bilateral ties and enhance mutual convergence on the peace process.

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