Jul 23, 2019, 5:37 PM
Journalist ID: 1951
News Code: 83408556
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Pakistan ready to play positive role in defusing regional tensions: PM

Islamabad, July 23, IRNA -- Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan says his country is willing to play a positive role in defusing tensions in the region.

During an exclusive interview with Fox News in Washington, he said that tension in the region is in no one's interest and all issues should be resolved through peaceful means.

Pakistan has already expressed serious concerns over rising tension in the Persian Gulf region.

When asked about Iran wanting a nuclear weapon, the premier replied: "I can't say [...] but as a neighbor of Iran, we certainly hope that this does not become a full-blown conflict.

"We would love to help if we are asked because we are a neighbor of Iran [...] the last thing we want is a conflict in Iran, which will obviously affect us. Not just us, but it will affect oil prices, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia. We would do anything for a peaceful resolution.

To a question he said: Already people in Afghanistan have suffered four decades of conflict. The last thing Afghanistan needs is more violence and it needs peace.

"The Taliban should become a part of the political process, so then you would have a government which will represent the people of Afghanistan."

When asked if negotiations had been sufficiently productive, the premier said: "I think they have been the most productive so far. I mean up to date, they have gone the furthest in the two sides coming together.

"The danger is, of course for Afghanistan and Pakistan, that if we do not have some sort of a peace settlement in Afghanistan, the danger of Daesh and it is more of a danger not just for us, but for other countries too," said the prime minister.

Khan to a question replied: "Well let us not forget Pakistan lost 70,000 people in this fight. We were fighting this war for the US and we lost all these people fighting this war. So there was obviously a lot of anger about the way this whole thing was done. But that's all in the past.

He said, "I really feel that India should come on the table," reiterated the prime minister. "The US could play a big part, President Trump certainly can play a big part.

To another question, he said Americans have absolutely no need to worry about Pakistan's nuclear weapons because Pakistan has one of the most professional armies, we have one of the most comprehensive command and control of our nuclear weapons.

272**2050

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