Inclusive political settlement required in Afghanistan for long term peace: NSC
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday said that the ideal time to end the Afghan conflict through negotiations would have been when the US and NATO troops were at maximum military strength in Afghanistan.
A statement issued after the National Security Committee meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, stated that continuation of foreign military presence for a longer duration would not have yielded a different outcome in the war-torn country.
“Endorsement by the Biden administration of the previous US administration’s decision of troops withdrawal is indeed a logical conclusion to this conflict,” the statement added.
The NSC reiterated Pakistan’s stance that the conflict in Afghanistan never had a military solution. “It is now time for the international community to work together to ensure an inclusive political settlement for long term peace, security and development of Afghanistan and the region,” it stated.
The NSC noted that Pakistan was a victim of the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan and therefore desired peace and stability in the neighborhood. It emphasized that the world must recognize the sacrifices made by Pakistan over four decades.
It was further stated that positively a major violence had been averted thus far. “Pakistan called on all parties in Afghanistan to respect the rule of law, protect fundamental human rights of all Afghans, and ensure that Afghan soil is not used by any terrorist organisation or group against any country.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan directed that all possible facilities be made available to repatriate Pakistanis, diplomats, journalists and staff of international organizations seeking to leave Afghanistan.
The premier lauded the ongoing efforts of the Pakistan embassy in Kabul and the state machinery in this regard. “Pakistan remains committed to an inclusive political settlement as the way forward, representing all Afghan ethnic groups,” the statement added, reaffirming that Pakistan would continue to work with the international community and all Afghan stakeholders to facilitate an inclusive political settlement in the country.
It was stressed that the principle of non-interference in Afghanistan must be adhered to.
Senior cabinet members and services chiefs also attended the meeting.
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