PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai has said Prime Minister Imran Khan had suggested 20 years ago that US must negotiate and talk with the Taliban for peace in Afghanistan.

He expressed these views as guest at the closing ceremony of the Techni­cal Education Board’s an­nual sports gala at Qayum Sports Complex Peshawar and talking to media here on Sunday.

After signing the peace agreement at Doha Qatar, the United States and Tali­ban had recognized that the solution to the Afghanistan issue was only dialogue and this was a success of Pakistan’s foreign policy because the US could not leave Afghanistan without Pakistan’s guarantee. Paki­stan’s role will also be of paramount importance in the Intra-Afghan dialogue.

“This peace agreement will benefit Pakistan as well as the entire region as the whole Central Asia will open to Pakistan for trade through Afghanistan which will grow Pakistan’s economy tremendously,” the minister said, add­ing the opposition used to mention the Gallup Survey in their government regu­larly whenever they asked about their performance now according to that sur­vey, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan is on top of the chart in performance delivery, “though we have spent one year after the merger of erstwhile Fata with KP. He maintained Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was trying to stabilise all the institu­tion of the country because without this country could not be developed.

Mahmood added: “The opposition criticised the BRT but still we challenge the opposition and Shahbaz Sharif that the BRT project is cheaper from Lahore, Is­lamabad and Multan Metro, kilometre wise.

The Lahore Metro, 27 km, was built some eight years ago on 40 billion while the Peshawar BRT, 28 km, is be­ing built at 35 billion which will be functional in April. Peshawar BRT is Third Generation Metro which has a lot more of facili­ties than Lahore Metro as that is Second Generation Metro. The Peshawar BRT has own purchased bus­ses while the Lahore Metro buses are still rented and Cycle track, feeder routes and commercial plazas are extra facilities added to the Peshawar BRT.”

Referring to Nawaz Shar­if, the provincial minister said that his platelets were diminished daily in Paki­stan and he used to meet doctors every day while in jail and now sitting in Lon­don, he recovers himself without seeing any doc­tor or visit to the hospital. “Shahbaz Sharif, who guar­anteed Nawaz Sharif return himself, has fled from the country and the govern­ment will have to advertise for the opposition leader return to the country,” he said, continuing that after many sacrifices of army, people and security agen­cies in the province, now the sports and peace had returned.

“Now we will bring the sports back in the province again. The chief minister is taking keen steps for the development of sports as he knows the importance of sports and hence he has kept the sports department with himself.

Shaukat Yousafzai dis­tributed prizes and tro­phies to the teams and players who won in the Sports Gala,” he hoped.