As the Taliban make speedy territorial positive factors in Afghanistan, the Pakistani navy on Saturday stated that Islamabad is a facilitator of the Afghan peace course of and never a guarantor. In an interview with ARY News, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director-general Babar Iftikhar stated that Pakistan has tried to maneuver the Afghan peace course of with “sincerity”, including that the United States withdrawal from the area occurred a “little quickly.”

“Of course other stakeholders have been a part of this, but Pakistan has played a key role,” stated Gen Iftikhar.

“It is still a facilitator of this peace process, we are not guarantors,” he added.

Pakistan has been evasive on the question of the Taliban’s role in rising violence in Afghanistan even as the group continues its offensive in the war-torn country. Amid the final withdrawal of US troops in the region, the Taliban have taken control of most of the border areas near Iran and Tajikistan, causing immense concern for the Afghan government.

“We have always said that we have no favourites in Afghanistan. The Afghan people have to decide which government they want and how to take the country forward,” said Gen Iftikhar.

Pakistan wants the US to delay the withdrawal until a transition takes place, as expressed by Gen Iftikhar during the interview, but doesn’t want to host bases on its soil. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan recently ruled out the possibility of hosting American bases for military action inside Afghanistan. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Khan argued that Pakistan cannot host American bases as they have “already paid too heavy a price.”

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

On Friday, external affairs minister S Jaishankar underlined that there is a “legitimacy aspect” to whoever will get to manipulate Afghanistan, including that it “can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.” Speaking at a joint press convention in Moscow alongside Russia’s overseas minister Sergey Lavrov, Jaishankar harassed the necessity for a direct discount in violence in Afghanistan, given its direct implication for regional safety.

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