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Imran Khan vows to help stem Afghan bloodshed

Imran Khan vows to help stem Afghan bloodshed

AFP
Kabul
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visited war-torn neighbour Afghanistan on Thursday, where he vowed to help reduce spiralling violence and push for a ceasefire between the Taliban and Afghan forces.
Khan’s maiden visit to Kabul comes amid surging violence across Afghanistan that has worsened despite Afghan government negotiators and the Taliban launching peace talks in the Qatari capital Doha in September.
“We notice with concern that the level of violence despite the talks in Qatar ... is rising,” Khan told reporters outside the presidential palace after meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
“Pakistan will do everything, whatever is possible, we will do to help reduce this violence and in fact move towards a ceasefire.”
Khan said it was Pakistan that first persuaded the Taliban to talk to Washington in 2018 for negotiations that eventually yielded a withdrawal deal for all foreign forces.
He also credited Islamabad’s efforts in helping start the peace talks in Doha.
“We the people and government of Pakistan have only one concern, and that concern is ... that we want peace (in Afghanistan),” Khan said.
Diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan have long been strained.
Many Afghans are furious with their eastern neighbour, which they accuse of meddling in domestic affairs, aiding the Taliban and deliberately destabilising Afghanistan.
Islamabad has long denied such claims, though many senior Taliban leaders live in the city of Quetta in southwest Pakistan and militants have in the past enjoyed relatively unhindered movement across the Pakistan-Afghanistan
border.
Pakistan last week accused Afghanistan of allowing India to set up camps on Afghan soil for “training, harbouring and launching terrorists into
Pakistan.”
Both New Delhi and Kabul deny these charges.

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