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PTI Chief, Imran Khan while taking serious exceptions to President Trump’s tirade against Pakistan, suggested that the US top man should find a political solution to the simmering Afghan quagmire.

“Have a dialogue with Taliban and simultaneously withdraw US troops… the stated policy of killing the enemy is what they have been doing till now,” Imran told the CNN on Thursday.

Trump unveiled the new South Asia policy which cleared the way for deploying more US troops in Afghanistan while giving India an offer for a greater role in that country.

The military and civilian top brass have called upon the US to “do more” via the statement of the National Security Committee. This unison is much-needed a positive development amid mounting pressure on Islamabad

Khan said that the new policy looks rudderless and that additional troops are being sent with a vague purpose. He questioned the impact that a few thousand additional troops could have on the battlefield dynamics in the war-torn country. He reminded the US that even 150,000 Nato/US forces equipped with sophisticated weaponry could not turn the tables in that country.

Read more: Will Trump’s ‘new’ Afghan strategy be successful?

Imran has been a vocal critic of US policies in the region and called upon Trump to engage regional stakeholders in Russia, Iran, and China to bring about a political solution. He suggested talks with the Taliban and the institution of a broad-based consensus government.

Khan like many other critics underscored the fact that the Taliban will not be coerced through fighting and hence troop withdrawal is the most plausible option.

Pakistanis are hurt

Though, he is the biggest critic of the PML-N government he and his party are extending full support to the government in taking a tough line in its ties with the US

Khan lambasted Trump over his references to Pakistan in his policy address on Monday. Trump berated Pakistan for harboring “agents of chaos, violence, and terror,” saying the US could “no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations”.

Khan censured the statement, calling it as apathy on part of the US toward a country who lost 70,000 lives in a war imposed on it. He said that Pakistani’s felt hurt and humiliated as it collaborated after 9/11 in US War on Terror and lost many precious lives.

Read more: The winners and losers in Trump’s Afghan Strategy – 1

“By joining the US War on Terror, we lost some 70,000 people. Eighty per cent of the tribal people were rendered homeless and suddenly we have to hear this,” Imran said while adding that Pakistan would be better off without succor from the US.” “I’d recommend we could be better off without the aid as this aid has been very costly to us,” he said.

Imran has been a vocal critic of US policies in the region and beyond called upon Trump to engage regional stakeholders in Russia, Iran, and China to bring about a political solution

Khan said that it is absurd that the US with all its military might, is blaming its defeat on a handful of terrorists that Pakistan is allegedly supporting. He said that Pakistani authorities have time and again implored the US to identify the people it is accused of hiding.

Khan has asked the government to take the Parliament into confidence while devising a policy toward the US. Though he is the biggest critic of the PML-N government, he and his party are extending full support to the government in taking a tough line in its ties with the US.

Read more: The illegality of Trump’s Afghanistan war

However, Khan earlier said that Trump defenestrated Pakistan because of the country’s feeble foreign policy, lamenting the inability of the government in giving a befitting rejoinder to Trump.

There is agreement on the need to draw red lines with the US across the political divide. Moreover, the military and civilian top brass have called upon the US to “do more” via the statement of the National Security Committee. This unison is much-needed a positive development amid mounting pressure on Islamabad.

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