Imran Khan claims no safe haven for militants left in Pakistan

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 17, 2020, 05.24 PM(IST)

Imran Khan  Photograph:( ANI )

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'Whatever the situation might have been in the past, right now, I can tell you... there is one thing we want: peace in Afghanistan,' Imran Khan said

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that his country has no more militant safe havens left and his government fully backs the Afghan peace process.

"I can tell you that there are no safe havens here," Khan spoke in a conference in Pakistan's capital Islamabad.

Also read: No let up in Taliban attacks, fresh orders awaited over deal with United States

"Whatever the situation might have been in the past, right now, I can tell you... there is one thing we want: peace in Afghanistan."

Also read: Pakistan not taking any concrete step against terrorism, says Afghan President Ghani

Khan's comments came at a time when the United States and Taliban appear on the verge of signing a deal that would ensure the US begin pulling out troops from Afghanistan.

Taliban, in return, would enter talks with the Afghan government, reduce violence and work towards a complete ceasefire, among others.

However, the Taliban on Sunday carried out an attack in a security checkpoint in the northern province of Kunduz. Taliban claimed that 19 security personnel were killed in the attack. Afghan officials said that five people died in the attack.

Despite the attack, one of the Taliban's senior leaders said that the US and the militant group would sign a deal by the end of February in Doha.

Addressing a conference which marked 40 years of Pakistan giving shelter to Afghan refugees, the Pakistani PM also said that his country cannot "completely guarantee" that no Taliban are hiding among the Afghans living in Pakistan. However, he said, that his administration has done everything to prevent attacks in Afghanistan.  

Earlier Sarwar Danish, Afghanistan's second vice president claimed that Pakistan is allowing Taliban to recruit new militants from Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan.

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has played a key role in the dialogue between the Taliban and the US also attended the conference.

The US has "commitments from the Talibs on security issues," Khalilzad said.

Last week, officials said that a seven-day "reduction in violence" by the Taliban, US and Afghanistan forces would kick-off as part of the confidence-building measures.

(with inputs from AFP and Reuters)