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Pakistan Has Much to Gain from a Peaceful Afghanistan: Ned Price

by Newsweek Pakistan

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price in Washington, D.C., on July 14. Photo by Freddie Everett; Courtesy State Department

U.S. State Department spokesperson reiterates Washington’s appreciation for Islamabad’s efforts to advance Afghan peace process

The U.S. knows that Pakistan has much to gain from a peaceful Afghanistan that is stable and secure, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday.

“Pakistan has the potential to have a critical role in enabling that outcome [of peace in Afghanistan],” he told a press briefing. “We do appreciate Pakistan’s efforts to advance the peace process and stability in South Asia, including by encouraging, as Pakistan has done, the Taliban to engage in substantive negotiations,” he added in response to a question on whether the U.S. believed Pakistan was offering any military support to the Taliban.

To another question on whether the U.S. had asked Pakistan to provide it with any military bases to stage counter-terror operations in Afghanistan, he refused to provide a clear answer but stressed that Washington and Islamabad shared “any number” of interests.

“We have interests in the realm of counterterrorism; we have interests in the region. And those regional interests certainly include an Afghanistan that is stable, that is peaceful, that is secure,” he said. “We have worked very closely with Pakistan over the course of many years in pursuit of some of those mutual interests,” he added.

To another question on whether the U.S. would accept a non-democratic emirate in Afghanistan led by the Taliban, Price said this would be unacceptable to the world. “The world is not ready to accept [a non-democratic state], and it is not ready to accept a government that comes to power only by force, that has no respect for the human rights of the Afghan people, for the universal rights of the Afghan people,” he said.

“And this gets back to the point before. That is not a government that will have legitimacy in the eyes of much of the international community, and importantly, it’s not a government that I would suspect will have the assistance of the international community,” he said, adding that any government that cared about its own durability would “obviously do well to keep that in mind.”

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