PM Imran Khan says Pakistan won't be America's hired gun ever again

Leroy Wright
December 8, 2018

"We are not engaged in peace talks with the Taliban", he said.

"We have 2.7 million Afghan refugees". The Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara is situated at a close distance to the border on the Pakistani side. "Let's hope that after the election is over, we can again resume talks with India", Khan said in the interview.

On November 28, Pakistan Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur Corridor along the India-Pakistan border.

Ever since Imran Khan has become the Prime Minister of Pakistan, he has been looking forward to holding peace talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The White House believes that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency and other military bodies have long helped fund and arm the Taliban both for ideological reasons and to counter rising Indian influence in Afghanistan. Pakistan has never made the structural changes that are needed. "We wish that the USA leaves Afghanistan as friend of the region, not as a failure", Ghafoor said, without elaborating further.

Perpetrators of the 26/11 attack, including its mastermind and banned Jamat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, continue to roam freely in Pakistan, indicating that Islamabad is not serious in bringing them to justice.

"Taking concrete steps that deny VEO safe havens in Pakistan, as well as VEO freedom of movement from Pakistan to Afghanistan, remains an important task that Pakistan needs to fulfil".

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On US accusations that Pakistan was harboring leaders of the Taliban, Imran said, "I have never understood these accusations".

He said that if Pakistan is not prepared to support the US expectations to help realize those outcomes, "there will be consequences" for US-Pakistan relations.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday said that it is in the interest of the NATO and global peace to prevent Afghanistan from ever again becoming a safe haven for worldwide terrorism. There were a lot of people in Pakistan who opposed it, including me.

It is in Pakistan's long-term interest to have a government in Afghanistan that is stable, and that that they can do business with, he said.

Pakistan had also sent a proposal in September to hold foreign minister-level talks in NY on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. McKenzie said that the meeting was to see if the United States can find some way forward.

Some 14,000 US soldiers are now serving in Afghanistan, and McKenzie couldn't say how much longer the United States would remain in the country. "We will still need the assistance of the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in terms of training and equipment until Afghan forces stands on its own feet", said Ghafoor Ahmad Jawed, a spokesman for Ministry of Defense.

"I talked for years about how there was no military solution in Afghanistan, and they called me "Taliban Khan".

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