'Hired Gun' No More: Pakistani PM Refuses to Fight US' War
08 December 2018, 08:02 | Devin Moran
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US President Trump, in a letter to PM Imran Khan couple of days ago, had asked for Islamabad's help in ending Afghan conflict and bringing Taliban leadership to the negotiating table.
Bass, US Ambassador in Afghanistan, said the US is not engaged in peace talks with the Taliban and that their only redline is that the group has to talk to the Afghan government and the Afghan people.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has chose to officially respond to President Donald Trump's letter to him, seeking Pakistan's support for talks to end the lingering war in Afghanistan.
He said the United States has sought Pakistan's support in advancing the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister also denied the United States claim about the presence of Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. If there are a few hundred, maybe 2,000 to 3,000 Taliban who move into Pakistan, they could easily move into these Afghan refugee camps.
"Were we not to put the pressure on Al-Qaeda, ISIS (Islamic State) and other groups in the region we are putting on today, it is our assessment that, in a period of time their capability would reconstitute, and they have today the intent, and in the future, they would have the capability to do what we saw on 9/11", Dunford said when asked about a potential withdrawal of the U.S. military contingent from the war-ravaged country.
Alluding to Pakistan's involvement in Afghanistan during the Cold War on behalf of the US, Khan said, he will not allow Pakistan to be used as Washington's hired gun anymore. The government's grip on the country continues to slip and its forces are suffering such high casualties that U.S. commanders believe they are not sustainable. "From Pakistan's point of view, we do not want the Americans to leave Afghanistan in a hurry like they did in 1989".
He, however, added that putting "pressure on the Taliban is easier said than done as about 40 per cent of Afghanistan is now out of the government's hands". The US has satellites and drones.
The Trump administration has suspended hundreds of millions in funding for Pakistan over Islamabad's refusal to take decisive action against terrorist groups orchestrating attacks against US troops in Afghanistan from Pakistani soil.
"Exxon has come back to Pakistan after 27 years, and they're doing a big exploration for us". Pakistan had nothing to do with 9/11 (terror attack). "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. "It cared for the underprivileged, for the people who can't compete in the race".
Khan also expressed hope that Islamabad and New Delhi would resume talks after the General Elections in India next summer.
The prime minister reiterated his plan to end poverty from the country, with or without the International Monetary Fund's programme, vowing that an IMF bailout, if availed, will be the last.
He maintained that he wanted the case of the Mumbai attacks to be resolved, adding that he has "asked our government to find out the status of the case". I had gone on television and warned everyone that we will stand by the Supreme Court verdict. Then, in 1989, when the Soviets packed up and left, the USA did too.
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