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Pakistan no longer a militant safe haven: Imran Khan – News

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Pakistan is seen as key to helping secure and implement any deal.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan insisted Monday that his country is no longer a militant safe haven, and said his administration fully supports the Afghan peace process.

Khan’s comments come as the US and the Taleban appear on the brink of a deal that would see US forces begin to pull out of Afghanistan.

In return, the Taleban would enter talks with the Afghan government, stick to various security guarantees and work toward an eventual, comprehensive ceasefire.

Pakistan is seen as key to helping secure and implement any deal.

“I can tell you that there are no safe havens here,” Khan said at a conference in the capital Islamabad.

“Whatever the situation might have been in the past, right now, I can tell you… there is one thing we want: peace in Afghanistan.”

Khan’s comments came after Sarwar Danish, Afghanistan’s second vice president, accused Pakistan of allowing the Taleban to recruit new fighters from Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan.

Khan was addressing a conference marking 40 years of hosting Afghan refugees in his country.

While Pakistan cannot “completely guarantee” that no Taleban are hiding among the estimated 2.7 million Afghans living in Pakistan, Khan said his government had done all it can to prevent attacks in Afghanistan, including by building a border fence.

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has for more than a year led talks between the Taleban and Washington, also attended the conference. He said he was “cautiously optimistic” about progress toward an eventual deal.

The US has “commitments from the Talebs on security issues,” he said.

The Taleban, Afghanistan’s security forces and the US are supposed to be launching a seven-day “reduction in violence”, officials announced last week. The move is part of a confidence-building measure ahead of the announcement of a fuller deal.

But bloodshed continued over the weekend, including a Taleban attack in Kunduz province.

 





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