Peace in Afghanistan to give Pakistan access to CARs: PM

Peace in Afghanistan to give Pakistan access to CARs: PMISLAMABAD, July 28 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that as peace in Afghanistan will give Pakistan an access to the Central Asian Republics (CARs), it wanted more than any other country in the world, peace in Afghanistan.

“We have already signed an agreement with Uzbekistan for a railway line from Mazar Sharif to Peshawar, which will reach Pakistan via Afghanistan,” he added.

The Prime Minister expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Pak-Afghan Youth Forum (PAYF), which called on him here.

Besides Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, Minister of State Farrukh Habib, Special Assistant to PM Dr. Shehbaz Gill, Senator Faisal Javed and senior officials, the meeting was attended by journalists, editors, film makers, businessmen, industrialists and defense analysts from Afghanistan.

The meeting was aimed at presenting the government’s view in response to the questions raised by the members of PAYF about Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, Pakistan’s efforts for sustainable peace in Afghanistan as well as the overall situation in the region.

The Prime Minister while responding to the queries said that all the future economic policies of Pakistan depended on peace in Afghanistan. The people of Pakistan considered the people of Afghanistan as their brothers, he added.

To a question, the Prime Minister said that India through its unilateral August 5, 2019 action violated the United Nations resolutions and changed the status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Besides, he said, that India opened a new chapter of atrocities and brutalities against the Kashmiris.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan has been raising its voice since 1948 for the protection of the rights of Kashmiris at international level.

He said Pakistan will neither hold any talks with India nor will accept Indian participation in Afghan peace process till the August 5, 2019 action was reversed and status of the Occupied Kashmir was restored under which the Kashmiris had the right of self-determination as per UN Resolutions.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he recently visited Afghanistan and he had good relations with President Ashraf Ghani.

He, however, added that recent statements from Afghan leaders blaming Pakistan for Afghan crisis was unfortunate because it was Pakistan which strived hard to convince Taliban first for talks with the United States and then with Afghan government.

The Prime Minister said any other country of the region can claim equivalence with Pakistan’s efforts, also endorsed by US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad.

To a question about the promotion of sports in Afghanistan especially cricket the Prime Minister said that no country in the history of cricket but Afghanistan had achieved so much progress in a short period time.

The position at which Afghanistan stood at the moment in cricket had been realized by other countries in 70 years, he remarked, adding, the main reason behind this success was learning of the game by Afghan refugees in Pakistan, which was appreciable.

To another question, the Prime Minister said unfortunately there was a misconception in Afghanistan, which was based on Indian propaganda, that Pakistan was controlled by military institutions.

Imran Khan said that his foreign policy was based on his party’s 25 years of manifesto, adding, he had a consistent view that there was no military solution of the Afghan conflict, which could only be resolved through political means.

The Prime Minister said that being the party head for the last 15 years as well as being a head of government for the last three years, he had the same stance on Afghanistan and military institutions were fully supportive of the government’s view.

He said that Pakistan has always desired for peace with India, but it was India which did not want peace because it was at present under the influence of RSS ideology and not only the Kashmiris but also the Muslims and people of other faiths and minorities were being mistreated. Such actions were the main hurdles in the way of peace with India, he added.