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December 6, 2018

Pakistan welcomes US statement on political solution to Afghan problem

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December 6, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday welcomed remarks by US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis who said the United States wants every responsible nation to support peace efforts in the Sub-Continent and in Afghanistan.

He also said that the Trump administration was focused on ending the war with regional and UN support. Pakistan says it has always focused on rebuilding ties with eastern and western neighbours and creating peace in the region.

“We are glad that the United States is pointing towards a political solution for Afghanistan. Pakistan, has always maintained that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The only viable way forward is a politically negotiated settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, and we urge all sides to focus on resolving the internal Afghan dispute through dialogue,” spokesman at the Foreign Office told The News.

Mattis was speaking at a joint news briefing with Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Pentagon. Earlier, the spokesman had said that during the past 17 years, the pursuit of a military option has only added to the sufferings and miseries of the Afghan people.

This week, in response to a letter from President Donald Trump seeking Pakistan’s full support for a peaceful solution for Afghanistan, Pakistan had reiterated that it had always advocated a political settlement to end war in Afghanistan, and would continue to play a facilitation role in good faith, since peace and stability in Afghanistan remains a shared responsibility.

Jim Mattis pointing towards peace in the region had said, “It`s time for everyone to get onboard, support the United Nations, support Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, support (Afghan) President (Ashraf) Ghani and all those who are trying to maintain peace and make for a better world here.”

“Pakistan has always maintained that we want peace on our western and on our eastern borders and we welcome the defence minister talking about peace on our eastern borders as well.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood has clearly told New Delhi that Pakistan wants to rebuild ties with eastern and western neighbours and create peace in the region,” commented the spokesman.

Pakistan says it wants to resolve all issues with India through talks for which a continued and uninterrupted dialogue is the only wise course. "I want to say to Indian foreign minister that we are not only neighbours but also nuclear powers. We have old issues and we both know what these issues are. We need to address these issues.

We cannot afford any adventurism as response time is so short. The only option is to engage with each other. We cannot live in enmity and we have to accept that there are outstanding issues," Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said as soon as he took office.

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