Washington: Asserting that peace with honour and dignity in Afghanistan is only possible with the complete buy-in of Pakistan, a top American Senator on Tuesday said it is now time for the US to have a strategic relationship with Pakistan.
Senator Lindsay Graham, who attended the White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, said he believed that Khan, along with the Pakistani military leadership, was ready for change and for the Afghan war to end in a smart way.
“If the Taliban are denied sanctuary in Pakistan, this war will end quickly and on our terms. It is my hope that we can negotiate a free trade agreement between the United States and Pakistan, which would be of mutual economic benefit and an incentive to maintain stability in the region,” the Republican senator from South Carolina said.
Trump’s meeting with Khan, he said discussed the way forward regarding Afghanistan and the future of the US-Pakistan relationship. “President Trump is keenly aware of the benefits of a better relationship with Pakistan,” Graham said.
“Peace with honour and dignity in Afghanistan is only possible with the complete buy-in of Pakistan. It is now time for the United States to have a strategic relationship with Pakistan, which is best achieved by a free trade agreement tied to security performance,” he said.
“I have seen change in the Pakistani military where they have aggressively gone after terrorist networks along the Afghan-Pakistan border. I believe that Prime Minister Khan, along with the Pakistani military leadership, is ready for change and ready for the Afghan war to end in a smart way,” the top Republican senator added.