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Tuesday, March 06, 2012
From Print Edition
 
 

 

JEDDAH: Regional peace will remain elusive as long as the United States remains involved in Afghanistan, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Monday.

 

Speaking in an interview to Arab News, the PTI leader predicted that the United States would eventually withdraw from Afghanistan, but alleged that it was crucial that US forces make a ìclean and orderly withdrawalî while respecting the interests of Afghanistanís neighbouring countries.

 

ìIf they withdraw suddenly without making such arrangements, they will leave Afghanistan in a big mess. And there will be civil war even worse than one that took place after the Soviets withdrew in the 1980s,î he said.

 

With regard to Islamabadís recent thaw in relations with New Delhi, Imran opined that Pakistan should continue to turn ìa new leaf in its relations with India.î ìThis cold war is costing both countries enormously,î he said. ìWe should resolve our issues politically, with dialogue.

 

And if we decide that this is a political issue, and not a military one, then India, Pakistan and Kashmiris should sit together and solve the problem taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiris.

 

It should be a relationship based on trust, and both countries will benefit from peace,î he added. Imran said that Pakistan had always enjoyed a close and cordial relationship with Saudi Arabia, and said this partnership would remain a constant in the future as well.