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Pakistan can again face terrorism if bases are given to US: PM Imran Khan

Pakistan is ready to be a partner for peace in Afghanistan, but we will not host US bases. These views were expressed by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his article in “The Washington Post” on Monday.

“We simply cannot afford this. We have already paid too heavy a price,” the Pakistani leader wrote in The Washington Post ahead of US President Joe Biden meeting with the top Afghan leaders at the White House later this week.

“If Pakistan were to agree to host U.S. bases, from which to bomb Afghanistan, and an Afghan civil war ensued, Pakistan would be targeted for revenge by terrorists again,” he said.

American officials have said Biden’s talks Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah on Friday will discuss U.S. troop withdrawal amid a surge in fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban across the country.

As U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote, “we will avoid risking further conflict,”.

“Meanwhile,” he added, “if the United States, with the most powerful military machine in history, couldn’t win the war from inside Afghanistan after 20 years, how would America do it from bases in our country?”

Pakistan and the US have the same interest in Afghanistan — a political settlement, stability, economic development and the denial of any haven for terrorists, Prime Minister Khan said, pointing out that Islamabad had made every effort to facilitate the Afghan peace process.

“We oppose any military takeover of Afghanistan, which will lead only to decades of civil war, as the Taliban cannot win over the whole of the country, and yet must be included in any government for it to succeed.”

In the past, he said, Pakistan made a mistake by choosing between warring Afghan parties, but now Islamabad has no favourites and will work with any government that enjoys the confidence of the Afghan people.

“History proves that Afghanistan can never be controlled from the outside.”

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