US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation on Friday welcomed the statement by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on his appeal for reduction of violence in the country.
Khalilzad says in a tweet that he “greatly appreciates Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement yesterday on Afghanistan”.
He said that Khan’s “appeal for reduction of violence and policy against promoting internal conflict in other nations has potential to positively transform the region and give Pakistan a leading role”.
In a statement released on Thursday, April 25, Khan said that Afghanistan conflict has brought great suffering for both Afghanistan and Pakistan over last 40 years.
He said that “now, after a long wait, the Afghanistan Peace Process presents a historic opportunity for peace in the region and Pakistan is fully supporting the process including the next logical step of Intra Afghan Dialogue wherein Afghans will themselves decide upon the future of their country”.
In this backdrop, Khan said, Pakistan is highly dismayed by the surge of violence in Afghanistan from all sides.
He said that the “so called offensives are condemnable and will undermine the peace process”.
Khan said that it is not right to seek an edge in dialogue through coercion.
“Pakistan implores all parties to recognize the importance of the moment and seize it. Pakistan has committed all diplomatic and security capital to the success of the peace process. Pakistan will not be a party to any internal conflict in Afghanistan anymore,” Khan said in the statement.
The remarks come amid an increase in peace efforts and an escalation of conflicts in different parts of the country with the arrival of the spring.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a quarterly report on April 24 that it has documented high levels of harm to civilians but adds that there has been a 23 percent decrease in overall civilian casualties as compared to the same period last year and is the lowest for a first quarter since 2013.
The report says the UN documented 1,773 civilian casualties (581 deaths and 1,192 injured), including 582 child casualties (150 deaths and 432 injured) between January 1 and March 31.
In the first quarter of 2018, UNAMA documented 2,305 civilian casualties (799 deaths and 1,506 injured), including 609 child casualties (176 deaths and 433 injured), the report says.