Abida Hussain (Former Ambassador):
It is a bold and encouraging statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pakistan has always supported Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace solution. Taliban are the major entity of the country and without bringing them on negotiating table, peace in Afghanistan is not possible. America will definitely need Pakistan’s support in this regard. There should be balance in Pak-US relations. U.S must also take notice of Indian activities as its agencies have been using Afghan soil for terrorist activities in Pakistan in order to destabilize it.
Dr. A.Z. Hilali (IR Expert):
Pakistan is the only country that rendered sacrifices and suffered huge financial loss in the crucial war against terror. Pakistan utilized all available resources for regional peace and stability, fought against terror and achieved success as well. Pakistan has emphasized Afghanistan number of times for cooperation in eradicating the menace of terrorism from the region, but never received positive response from Afghan government. After 9/11 incident, America and NATO forces have been fighting against militants but with no success. Now, America is requesting Pakistan in playing its role to bring Afghan Taliban on negotiation table. Pakistan wants balanced relations with United States. Washington has realized that peace in Afghanistan is not possible without Pakistan’s support. The world and U.S have acknowledged the role of Pakistan in war against terror.
Dr. Mansoor Akbar Kundi (IR Expert):
Prime Minister has rightly presented the stance of the nation that Pakistan will no more be a hired gun and will not be the part of any war in future. Despite of the economic challenges, the foreign policy of the incumbent government is in right direction and it must be appreciated. We have observed a change in U.S policy and its behavior towards Pakistan. Islamabad has already done more than any other US ally in war against terror. We have paid huge price in terms of precious lives and financial losses in the war that was imposed on us. It is good development that United States realized the ground realities and wants to negotiate with Taliban for peace and stability in Afghanistan. The Afghan issue can only be resolved by brining Taliban on negotiating table but without Pakistan’s support it is not possible. Pakistan wants peaceful relations with all the neighboring countries but it is India that has been using Afghan soil for its nefarious designs against Pakistan.
Dr. Farooq Hasnat (IR Expert):
No one can deny the reality that peace and stability in Afghanistan is not possible without Pakistan’s support. U.S wants respectful withdrawal from Afghanistan. Taliban and Daish have control over major portion of the war-torn country and there is no writ of Afghan government in Taliban-controlled areas. In past, America refused to hold dialogue with Taliban and realizing the ground facts, now ready to negotiate with Taliban. It is to be noted that Taliban are major stakeholders in Afghanistan. Pakistan could play limited role in convincing Taliban for negotiations. All the regional stakeholders including Turkey, Iran, Russia and China should play their role for Afghan peace and stability. Before withdrawal the US should handover the affairs to Afghan representatives.
Ali Sarwar Naqvi (Former Ambassador):
Prime Minister Imran Khan and the federal government want to ensure the national interest of the country at all costs. Prime Minister in his interview to Washington Post clearly stated that Pakistan will not be a hired gun from now on. U.S is already involved in devastation of Syria and Iraq. But after remaining unsuccessful, it wants now respectful withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan. Peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the best national interest of Pakistan as well but the need of the hour is that all the stakeholders in Afghanistan should sit on the table of negotiation and devise an effective plan of action with mutual consensus.