In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Prime Minister Imran Khan has written that Islamabad is ready to partner with the United States for peace and stability in Afghanistan. However, Pakistan will not be a partner for further confrontations, he added.
The premier wrote that Islamabad and Washington have the same interests in Kabul. Both these countries want "a political settlement, stability, economic development and the denial of any haven for terrorists" in Afghanistan.
Khan also writes why Islamabad does not support the hosting of US bases on Pakistan's soil to conduct airstrikes in Afghanistan post-withdrawal:
"If Pakistan were to agree to host U.S. bases, from which to bomb Afghanistan, and an Afghan civil war ensued, Pakistan would be targeted for revenge by terrorists again. We simply cannot afford this. We have already paid too heavy a price. Meanwhile, if the United States, with the most powerful military machine in history, couldn’t win the war from inside Afghanistan after 20 years, how would America do it from bases in our country?"
The prime minister notes how after joining the US efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan became a target for terrorist groups, such as Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which has caused more than 70,000 Pakistanis to die. Khan writes that $20 billion in aid provided by the US to Pakistan were not nearly enough to cover the country's economic losses which exceeded $150 billion.
In his opinion piece, Khan mentions the impact of drone attacks conducted by the US military in the tribal areas of Pakistan:
"U.S. drone attacks, which I warned against, didn’t win the war, but they did create hatred for Americans, swelling the ranks of terrorist groups against both our countries."