Unwise to hastily withdraw from Afghanistan: Imran Khan

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KABUL: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned against a hasty withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, saying the country should be guarded first from regional spoilers before setting a deadline for that critical step.


Imran Khan stated the remarks in an opinion piece submitted to the Washington Post, in which he said that peace was within Afghanistan’s reach and all parties should follow the process until a resolution to the conflict was found.


“All those who have invested in the Afghan peace process should resist the temptation for setting unrealistic timelines. A hasty international withdrawal from Afghanistan would be unwise,” he said in his opening lines.


In a thinly-veiled reference to India, he said “We should also guard against regional spoilers who are not invested in peace and see instability in Afghanistan as advantageous for their own geopolitical ends.”  


The intra-Afghan negotiations are likely to be even more difficult, requiring patience and compromise from all sides, he adding, urging the conflict sides to reduce violence and respect each other as political realities.


He also pointed to the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, saying that plans should be developed for their return to their own homelands in post-war measures.