Pakistan

Asif urges negotiated solution to Afghan conflict

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that the Trump administration’s ‘militaristic approach’ in Afghanistan represents a failed policy and talks with Taliban should be held to bring peace to the war-torn country.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in Islamabad, he said peace talks with the Taliban could be arranged if Washington work with countries in the region that have influence over the militant group.

Khawja Asif said that he would tell UN members that peace should return to this area and force is not the solution.

He said a four-country group including Pakistan, China, the US and Afghanistan could be expanded to include other countries with influence over the Taliban.

Recently, the foreign minister had traveled to the friendly countries, including China and Turkey, to garner their support in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s policy on Afghanistan and South Asia.

At a weekly media briefing last week, the Foreign Office has declared his visits as successful in terms of the regional countries’ convergent point of view with regard to the US policy.

The ties between Pakistan and the US have been tense since Trump’s accusations against the former for allegedly housing the “very terrorists Americans are fighting in Afghanistan”, the charge Islamabad vehemently denies.

It was against this backdrop that acting United States Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alice Wells’ scheduled trip to Pakistan was postponed last month at the request of the government of Pakistan.

However, a recent huddle of Pakistani diplomats in key world capitals had called for more careful approach towards ties with the US and avoiding any confrontation with the country.

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