Will peace finally prevail in South Asia, especially in Afghanistan and Kashmir? US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis stated that time has come for everyone to promote the efforts of the United Nations to maintain and support peace initiative in South Asia.
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Pakistan must take on a substantive role in peace talks with the Taliban if the war in neighbouring Afghanistan is to be ended, he said. Mattis was responding to a question from reporters about the letter written by President Trump to Pakistan PM Imran Khan, seeking his support in the peace process in Afghanistan.
In his letter, Trump has made it clear that Pakistan’s full support over the issue “is fundamental” to building an enduring US-Pakistan partnership.
“We’re looking for every responsible government to support peace in South Asia and across this war in Afghanistan that’s gone on now for 40 years,” he told reporters at the Pentagon on as he welcomed Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for talks.
“It’s time for everyone to get on board, support the United Nations; support Prime Minister Modi’s, President Ashraf Ghani and all those who are trying to maintain peace and make for a better world here,” Mattis said.
Even though the Kashmir issue was not discussed, but many international experts view Pakistan as the key player who can negotiate a peace process in Afghanistan and Kashmir as well. Both India and Afghanistan have accused Pakistan of harbouring and promoting terrorism in their respective nations, an allegation that Islamabad denies.