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PM Imran Khan initiates dialogue with Taliban for inclusive Afghan govt

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan announced on Saturday that he has initiated a dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghanistan government which includes Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks.

In a tweet, the PM said that decision comes following lengthy discussions with different leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries as well as Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe.

“40 years of conflict, this inclusivity will ensure peace & a stable Afghanistan, which is in the interest not only of Afghanistan but the region as well,” the PM tweeted.

Pakistan is considered as one of the two countries, along with Qatar, with the most influence over the Taliban. Pakistan has been supporting Afghanistan on its path of peace, progress and prosperity and has always opposed a military solution.

Since the US troops left Kabul, Pakistan came to the forefront of the evacuation efforts, offering to welcome US army personnel as well as international aid workers.

Pakistan has also provided humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan dispatching tons of food and medical supplies to the war-torn country.

Addressing the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) Summit in Dushanbe on Friday, the PM said that a new reality has been established in Afghanistan after the US troops withdrawal and Taliban takeover, adding that it was a relief that it all happened without bloodshed, civil war, and a mass exodus of refugees.

He urged the international community to approach the new reality in Afghanistan with a new perspective, based on a realistic assessment and pragmatic approach with a core collective interest to help stabilize the security situation, prevent any renewed conflict, and prevent mass exodus.

“There is a rare opportunity to finally end the 40 years of war in Afghanistan and this moment should not be squandered,” the PM said.

“It is equally in our interest to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a safe haven for any terrorist entity. For this, the Taliban must take every measure to honour their commitments. The promise of an inclusive political structure should also be fulfilled. Peace will only be consolidated with national reconciliation,” he commented.