Srinagar: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday suggested an interim setup in Afghanistan as a possible solution to an apparent impasse in the ongoing peace process, while blaming the Afghan government for the stalemate in talks.
The suggestion came during PM Khan’s interaction with journalists at his office on Monday, Express Tribune reported.
“The Afghan government was a hurdle in peace process that was insisting that Taliban should talk to it,” said PM Khan.
The premier also confirmed that he had cancelled a scheduled meeting with Taliban leadership due to objections raised by the Afghan government.
The Afghan peace process can only be successful if there is a neutral interim government, which can hold free and transparent elections to be participated by all the stakeholders, the premier said.
“How much time it will take to set up an interim government and hold free elections, I cannot say,” he added.
The peace process in Afghanistan, jointly backed by Pakistan and the United States, is aimed at ending the longest war that the US has ever fought. Taliban and the US have negotiated a draft of the deal that revolved around the exit of US forces from Afghanistan and guarantees by the Taliban to not allow use of Afghan territory by terrorist organisations, according to reports in the western media.
The PM noted that the US had acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s role for bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said the US thought it was only Pakistan that could bring Taliban to the negotiating table.
Premier Khan also briefly spoke about Pakistan’s relations with other countries, including India. He said that foreign policy had started producing results and Pakistan’s relations with the US were at the best in the past 20 years. The relations with China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were also exemplary, he added.
PM Khan maintained that there was no hope for improvement in relations with India at least until the upcoming general elections.
“Pakistan needs to be fully alert as threat by India is possible until their elections. The nation must not let down their guards,” he added.