KABUL: Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, stated that Pakistan has no leverage over the Taliban and that Pakistan respects the Afghan peace process during the Wednesday National Assembly.
Imran Khan argued, “Now that the US is leaving, they are asking Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the talks tables, but we have no leverage over them (Taliban).”
He acknowledged the residence of Afghan-Taliban families in Pakistan territory and dismissed their residence as potential leverage saying, “except a few of their families live here; can we arrest their [Taliban] families and put them in jail?”
The Prime Minister claimed that Pakistan shares similar interests to that of the US about Afghanistan, believing that there is no military solution in Afghanistan.
According to him, Pakistan respects the Afghan peace process, claiming, “We do not want any kind of strategic depth in Afghanistan. We do not want any favorites or choose any party in Afghanistan. Afghans are our brothers, and what they want for themselves, we shall support it.”
He talked about his meetings with the Afghan Government Officials, Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan President included.
Clarifying Pakistan’s vision for Afghanistan, he said, “Pakistan wants betterment of Afghan economy for bilateral trade, and want to enhance trade relations with Central Asian nations via Afghanistan by new roads and railway links.”
Last week, in an interview, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, confirmed that Afghan-Taliban’s families reside in Pakistan suburbs where their wounded fighters have been receiving treatment.