Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday that Afghanistan certainty needs peace after almost four decades of war as he addressed a gathering of business leaders in Beijing.
Khan said that peace in Afghanistan has a huge impact on Pakistan and Central Asian countries under China’s global Belt and Road Initiative, of which Pakistan and region will benefit.
“This will have dividends for Afghanistan, and Afghanistan certainly needs peace after almost four decades of war, but it will have a huge impact on Pakistan and Central Asian countries. Peace in Afghanistan would increase connectivity between Pakistan and Central Asia, and of course connect China,” Khan said as quoted in a report by the VOA on April 28.
Khan reiterated that Pakistan is helping Afghanistan in the peace process to end the conflict through dialogues and by involving the Taliban.
“For the first time, after almost 17 years, there is a prospect of peace. Pakistan is now playing its part in getting the Taliban and the (Afghan) government together and hoping that there will be a political settlement,” Khan said.
Back in March Imran Khan said that peace in Afghanistan is “around the corner”, referring to the efforts by the United States for a political settlement to the conflict in the country.
“Negotiations have been initiated with the Taliban. God willing, our brothers in Afghanistan would live together in peace in coming days,” Khan told a big public gathering in northwestern Bajaur tribal district in March.
This comes after the US negotiators and Taliban members agreed in draft on key issues under debate including foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan and counterterrorism assurances after 16-day talks in Doha in mid-March.