ISI briefs civil-military leadership on security with focus on Afghanistan | PM says Taliban can be America’s partners for peace

ISI briefs civil-military leadership on security with focus on Afghanistan | PM says Taliban can be America’s partners for peace

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, along with other political leaders and the military top brass were given a “comprehensive briefing” at the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Secretariat on national security and regional dynamics with a focus on the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.
The PM “appreciated the diligent efforts of ISI for national security and expressed satisfaction over professional preparedness”. Key federal ministers and chief ministers of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were in attendance during the meeting. Besides this, Chief of Army Staff General QamarJavedBajwa, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Babar were also present
The dignitaries were accorded a warm welcome by Director General ISI Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid.
The briefing on Afghanistan comes as PM Khan is set to address the United Nations General Assembly to raise his voice against Indian atrocities in Kashmir and speak about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.The PM will speak at 1:30am Pakistan Standard Time on September 25.
Earlier, in an interview with Newsweek’s Senior Foreign Policy Writer Tom O’Connor, PM said that the Taliban can be potential partners in peace for both the United States and Pakistan, as he termed American President Joe Biden’s hard line against the group as “unnecessary”.
Henoted that cooperation between regional powers and the US is crucial in avoiding a catastrophe, as the dynamics had evolved quickly after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August.
Talking about the Taliban assuming complete power for the first time in 40 years, he said this might lead to a stable security situation in the country.The premier hoped the Taliban government would open up possibilities for trade and development projects. The premier also stressed the need to neutralise terrorist groups in Afghanistan, especially the TTP.Henoted that Pakistan and the US would need to work to counter terrorism in Afghanistan. He also stressed addressing the humanitarian crisis and economic issues of the country. “I believe that the US can work with a new government in Afghanistan to promote common interests and regional stability,” he added.The Afghans will accept China’s economic support if Beijing offers, he said, adding that the group had also welcomed the prospects the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) offers and establishment of close relations with Beijing. On recognising Taliban government, he said Pakistan aims to reach a decision in this regard after consultations with neighbouring countries. The PM noted that the group had formed an interim government, but once they establish control across the country, “it would legally qualify for recognition”. Hesaid Islamabad was extremely concerned about the threat of terrorism from Afghanistan — particularly from the TTP.
“There is indeed a plethora of terrorist groups which, taking advantage of the conflict in Afghanistan, located themselves in that country,” hesaid.”Pakistan desires to promote a comprehensive, not selective, approach to neutralising terrorists’ threats from Afghanistan. We will cooperate with the international community, including the US, in this effort,” he said.
Speaking about America’s interest in the region, he said Pakistan understood that Washington’s military support to India is designed to contain China, including through the so-called Quad.”Pakistan has its own views on the credibility of this strategy,” he said, adding: “In our view, India will never confront China, especially not to serve US strategic objectives.”