‘US has decided India is a strategic partner that’s why Pak treated differently’

IANS-

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the US has decided that India is a strategic partner and that is why Islamabad was being treated differently.

“I think that the Americans have decided that India is their strategic partner now, and I think that’s why there’s a different way of treating Pakistan now,” Khan told foreign journalists at his home in Islamabad, a global news wire reported.

A political settlement in Afghanistan was looking difficult under current conditions, he added.

The Prime minister said he tried to persuade the Taliban leaders when they were visiting Pakistan to reach a settlement.

“The condition is that as long as (Afghan President) Ashraf Ghani is there, we (Taliban) are not going to talk to the Afghan government,” Khan said quoting the Taliban leaders as telling him.

Khan accused the US of seeing Pakistan as useful only in the context of the “mess” it is leaving behind in Afghanistan after 20 years of fighting, the report said

Washington has been pressing Islamabad to use its influence over the Taliban to broker an elusive peace deal as negotiations between the insurgents and Afghan government have stalled, and violence in Afghanistan has escalated sharply.

“Pakistan is just considered only to be useful in the context of somehow settling this mess which has been left behind after 20 years of trying to find a military solution when there was not one,” Khan added.

The US will pull out its military by August 31, 20 years after toppling the Taliban government in 2001.

But, as the US leaves, the Taliban today control more territory than at any point since then.

Khan said Pakistan had “made it very clear” that it does not want any American military bases in Pakistan after US forces exit Afghanistan, the report added.