Pakistan wants mutual respect, equality-based relations with US: Aizaz

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WASHINGTON : Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States (US), Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has said that Pakistan would like to have good relations with the United States based on mutual respect and equality.

In an interview conducted by Mr Jeremy Hobson and Ms Dina Kesbeh for National Public Radio (NPR) s programme “Here & Now”, Aizaz Chaudhry said that Pakistan does not want any violence or terrorism in Afghanistan.

Aizaz Chaudhry said that Pakistan has suffered from the instability in Afghanistan. We are the only country that will benefit the most — apart from the people of Afghanistan — if peace returns to Afghanistan.

He said that Pakistan condemns recent deadly attacks in Afghanistan in which innocent lives have been lost. But we also would like to express our disappointment that anything that happens in Afghanistan, no matter what, the only reaction that we hear from Kabul is to blame Pakistan

He said the solution to violence in Afghanistan lies in having a comprehensive political approach, and engaging in a genuine political dialogue between all Afghan factions. We don t want to be party to it. We think that it should be between Afghan government and all Afghan factions and the Taliban must be made to be part of that process.

He said that Pakistan doesn’t bear any blame for the recent attacks.

“Absolutely not. Pakistan does not want any violence or terrorism in Afghanistan. In fact, we have suffered from the instability in Afghanistan. We are the only country that will benefit the most — apart from the people of Afghanistan — if peace returns to Afghanistan. Why would we support any element that would destabilize Afghanistan, and in turn bring that instability to Pakistan?”

The diplomat emphasized on the need to develop a comprehensive political approach and engage in a genuine political dialogue between all Afghan factions.

“We don’t want to be party to it. We think that it should be between Afghan government and all Afghan factions, the Taliban must be made to be part of that process. We tried it twice. We did it once in 2015, the second time, the four nations — Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United States and China — came together, and we set out to meet all the Taliban, all of us four, to persuade them that they must give up violence. The Taliban leader was killed in a drone strike. So I think the Taliban are not ready to listen to Pakistan, that our influence on them has eroded because twice we brought them with whatever influence we had, and now they are leaving our country and we have that much less influence on them.”

Orignally published by INP

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