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We’re not your ‘hired gun’ anymore, Imran Khan tells US
07 December 2018, 03:43 | Glen Norman
Governance & Politics
Resolute Support Mission Commander United States Army General Austin Scott Miller, right, speaks with Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council and Resolute Support at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.
"I am also happy that for the first time the USA has recognised what we [PTI] have been saying for the past 15 years that there can not be a military solution to the Afghan war", he said.
In this meeting, President Ghani appreciated Khalilzad's efforts for Afghan peace and said the Afghan government announced its negotiations team at Geneva Conference on Afghanistan late last month, the statement said.
Ambassador Khalilzad started his multi-nation tour for Afghan peace this week.
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"It is good that we have gotten the chance to play the role of a mediator rather than fighting someone else's war", PM Imran said, adding that "Pakistan's role in the region is now being recognised". The trip will continue until December 20. "From Pakistan's point of view, we do not want the Americans to leave Afghanistan in a hurry like they did in 1989". The Pakistani leader insisted there "are no sanctuaries in Pakistan". "The US has basically pushed Pakistan away".
Khililzad's visit to Islamabad followed a request from U.S. President Donald Trump to Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking help in furthering the Afghan peace process.
The prime minister referred to President Trump's letter asking for assistance in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table and said "I talked for years about how there was no military solution in Afghanistan, and they called me "Taliban Khan".
"While Pakistan has conducted some operations against VEOs in the country, they must continue to expand these operations and remain aggressively engaged", McKenzie said. "We do not want to have conditions imposed on us which would cause more unemployment and inflation".
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On Wednesday, he met with a U.S. peace envoy in Islamabad and pledged to help find a political solution to the long-running war.
The prime minister said Exxon Mobil was returning to Pakistan after long time, expressing the hope that the company would succeed in finding oil reserves in the country. "I was glad that i met Zalmay Khalilzad", he said.
"We will try to make the Afghan Taliban engage in dialogue with the United States", the prime minister replied when asked about the way forward following Trump's letter. "I think the task that we have is to make it attractive to them so that they see that it is in their best interest to do that", McKenzie said.
The death toll for the Afghan forces has been on the rise, with some 28,529 soldiers estimated to have died fighting the Taliban since North Atlantic Treaty Organisation handed control of security to local forces three years ago.
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