Pakistan’s ambassador: We want to work with Trump to end war in Afghanistan
The Pakistani government is willing to work closely with the Trump administration to find a political solution to ending the war in Afghanistan, the US ambassador said on Wednesday.
Pakistani ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry said today in an interview with the United States that the government would help promote peace talks between the Afghanistan-backed Afghan government and the Taliban “Camino” rebel group.
He said Pakistan would use its considerable influence on the Taliban to incite the insurgent group to the negotiating table.
Chaudhry spoke after President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged this week to step up pressure on Pakistan to work harder with its western neighbor to end the nearly 16-year-old war.
“Pakistan believes that there should be peace talks with a clear commitment from the Afghan government,” Chaudhry said, adding that his country has consistently supported the need for an Afghan-led peace process.
Pakistan has its own Taliban movement fighting the government, but some agencies, such as intelligence, have been accused by the United States and other governments of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
President Trump launched Monday in Pakistan, urging him to stop giving sanctuary to “agents of chaos, violence and terror”. “We can not keep quiet in Pakistani shelters for terrorist organizations, Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” Trump said.
Millis, Tillerson raised the possibility of sanctions against Pakistani government officials, cutting aid and endangering Pakistan’s military association with NATO. The Trump government also suggested it could improve ties with the archdiocese of Pakistan, India.
The ambassador said that his government has reversed the tide of terrorism in Pakistan but is aware that Pakistan’s achievements against terrorists and their economic progress will remain at risk as long as Afghanistan is unstable.
“We therefore believe that a comprehensive political process must be carried out seriously to ensure lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he said.
Chaudhry said that Pakistan’s border management of more than 1,500 miles with Afghanistan is essential to prevent cross-border movement of militants and that its country has begun to close the border.
“Issues such as the repatriation of refugees to Afghanistan and honor and dignity, as well as close cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan, would also be of particular importance,” the ambassador said.
Some of these issues have already been discussed in the talks between the United States and Pakistan.
On 11 August, a group of former diplomats, military and security experts from both countries held their third meeting in six months to discuss Pakistan’s support in Afghanistan, the increase in US ties with India, the India in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s growing economic dependence on China.
Richard Boucher, a former Secretary of State for South Asian and Asian Affairs who attended the talks, said Pakistan and Afghanistan must control their borders to achieve peace.