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Pakistan calls for negotiated end to Afghan war

Updated November 22, 2017

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called for a negotiated end to the Afghan war, claiming that neither side could “impose a military solution” on the other.

“Neither the coalition and Kabul nor the Afghan Taliban can impose a military solution on each other,” said Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi while speaking at a debate in the UN General Assembly on the situation in Afghanistan.

Arguing against the decision to continue to resort to military force in Afghanistan, she said that 16 years of war waged by the world’s most powerful forces had not secured a military solution. “The promotion of a political settlement and the pursuit of a military solution in Afghanistan are mutually incompatible,” said Ambassador Lodhi.

The international community, she said, was unanimous in its view that sustainable peace in Afghanistan was achievable only through a negotiated settlement.

She said that Pakistan had consistently proposed a political settlement as the most viable course to end the decades of conflict and suffering in Afghanistan.

In her address, Ms Lodhi called on the Afghan Taliban to abandon violence and come to the negotiating table to engage in a serious dialogue for peace.

While welcoming the Afghan peace and reconciliation plan, she expressed the hope that it would serve as the first step towards a political settlement.

Ms Lodhi also highlighted the effects of the prolonged conflict in Afghanistan on Pakistan, including terrorism, which the country has been obliged to address.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2017