Pakistan’s foreign minister rules out military operations in Afghanistan

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the country does not intend to carry out military operations inside Afghanistan.

“We’re not interested in launching a cross-border operation, nor would we want to advocate for more military intervention after what we’ve already seen was the longest war,” Zardari told Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Thursday.

Separately, in an interview with Washington Post, Zardari also ruled out talks with militants who don’t respect Pakistan’s Constitution and laws.

“The new leadership in Pakistan, both political and military, has been absolutely clear. There will be no talks with terrorist organisations that don’t respect our laws and constitution,” he told the Post.

Zardari said Pakistan was confident to work with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), which he claimed has influence over these groups.

Pakistan was willing to build the capacity of the Afghan government to deal with the threat, he told Anadolu.

Talking about the new reality that has emerged in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal, the foreign minister said everyone around the world was concerned about the potential use of Afghan soil for terrorist activities.

The interests of Pakistan and the US are aligned to eliminate terrorist groups from Afghanistan, he told the Post.

Last month, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that IEA’s failure to act against TTP would prompt Pakistan to do so in Afghanistan.

IEA’s Ministry of National Defense slammed the remarks as “provocative and baseless.”