ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the international community cannot "exonerate" itself from its responsibilities towards the Afghan people after 20 years of military intervention in the war-torn country and urged the same countries to stay engaged with Kabul, according to a media report on Friday.
Khan said decades of war has had a devastating impact on Afghanistan's economy, society and polity and there is a "ray of hope" to bring peace and stability to the country and the broader region, the Express Tribune newspaper reported, quoting the prime minister's interview to the US-based Newsweek magazine.
The global community, he said, cannot "exonerate" itself from its responsibilities towards the Afghan people after 20 years of military intervention in that country and urged the same nations to stay engaged with Kabul, the report said.
Khan, however, warned that if rivalry persists with Afghanistan and between global and regional powers, it could lead to more suffering and conflict in Afghanistan.
"This would create new flow of refugees, escalate the threat of terrorism from Afghanistan, and destabilize the entire region," he said, adding that the last thing Pakistan wants is more conflict and turbulence in Afghanistan.
He reiterated that it is Islamabad's hope that the country would be "stabilised, through humanitarian help, economic support, and connectivity and infrastructure projects, and that the US, China and Russia will all contribute to pacifying and reconstructing Afghanistan".
Khan also said that both Pakistan and the US need to prevent terrorism emanating from Afghanistan and should cooperate to stabilise it.
"To this end, we should cooperate to help in stabilizing Afghanistan by addressing the humanitarian crisis in that country and supporting its economic recovery," he said.
The premier said the US had "divested a liability", its costly military intervention in Afghanistan, as the military presence was "not a strategic priority" for Washington.
Khan said he does not think the chaotic withdrawal of US armed forces will have a negative effect on Washington's credibility in the long term but there may be "an immediate negative impact in the US".