PM against Kabul`s military takeover by any Afghan group

PM Imran Khan
PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday reiterated Pakistan`s opposition to a takeover of Kabul by force by any of the warring groups and again called for a negotiated settlement of the long-running conflict under which Taliban could be included in Afghanistan`s future government.

In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Mr Khan explained Pakistan`s position on the Afghan conflict and potential of cooperation with the US on the issue.

`We oppose any military takeover of Afghanistan, which will lead only to decades of civil war, as the Taliban cannot win over the whole of the country, and yet must be included in any government for it to succeed,` the prime minister wrote.

Violence in Afghanistan has intensified since the US began pulling out its troops from the country on May 1.

Taliban have captured large areas from the demoralised Afghan security forces. The insurgents have captured over 70 district centres over the past two months, according to Tolo News.

Many believe that Taliban`s military campaign is aimed at capturing Kabul although the insurgents have in their interactions with Western governments assured them that they would not do so.

Pakistan, the prime minister recalled, was part of recent `Extended Troika` joint statements, along with Russia, China and the United States, that unambiguously declared `that any effort to impose a government by force in Kabul would be opposed by us all, and also would deprive Afghanistan (of) access to the foreign assistance it will need.

`We know that if the Taliban tries (sic) to declare a military victory, it will lead to end-less bloodshed,` Mr Khan maintained.

Reports from Afghanistan indicate that militias are being formed to counter the Taliban onslaught.

The prime minister urged the Afghan government to `show more flexibility` in the talks continuing in Doha without any progress.