United States must find a political solution before leaving Afghanistan: PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the United States should first establish political settlement before leaving Afghanistan.
In an interview with HBO Axios, the premier said Pakistan will “absolutely not” give bases to the CIA for anti-terror action in the war-torn country.
He said that Pakistan has suffered the most due to the war against terrorism.
“Over 70,000 Pakistanis embraced martyrdom due to US-Afghan war. We have given sacrifices more than anybody else in this war.” He noted that his country is currently hosting three million Afghan refugees.
PM Imran Khan said, “We only want peace and don’t want to be part of any confrontation.”
“Before leaving Afghanistan, the US must find a political solution,” he said.
The comments from the Pakistani premier came amid the commencement of the withdrawal of foreign troops, which will be completed by September, while the peace process is facing hurdles due to disputes among the Afghan leaders.

Nuclear programme
Responding to a question, The prime minister stated that the country’s nuclear programme is only for self-defence.

“I am against nuclear weapons, but our nuclear arsenal is for defence purposes,” he said.

Islamophobia in Europe
PM Imran Khan highlighted that Islamophobia has increased in Europe after 9/11 and urged international efforts to counter this dangerous trend.
He said that in a Muslim society, the concept of Hijab for women is to prevent “evil”.
“There is a big difference between our culture and that of the West.”

Kashmir issue
Lashing out at the West’s indifference towards the plight of the Kashmiris, the premier said India has turned Kashmir into an open prison by deploying hundreds of troops there.
“The Kashmiris are ignored in the West. Why is this issue not taken up there. I think this is hypocrisy,” he said.

‘China is a friend’
The prime minister lavished praise on China, saying the country has supported Pakistan whenever needed.
When asked to comment on the Uighyr issue, he said Pakistan and China discuss issues behind closed doors.

Tackling COVID-19
The premier also shared how a partial lockdown coupled with comprehensive data analysis helped Pakistan keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control.
He said there were more than 70% informal economy workers and daily wagers and the government could not make a decision to force a complete clampdown in the country.
He said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) performed actively and coordinated with all institutions to implement SOPs.
Read more: Imran Khan lauds Chinese President Xi leadership on  combatting climate change

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