Wednesday, September 22, 2021

PM Imran warns international community against abandoning Afghanistan

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that in order to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan, the international community should engage with the Taliban and “incentivize” them on issues such as women’s rights and inclusive government.

In an interview with CNN, the prime minister said that the international community should remain engaged with Afghanistan to help it come out of the current situation.

“Taliban are looking for international aid to avoid a crisis,” he said and warned that Afghanistan could not be controlled by outside forces.

He said that no one can predict where Afghanistan goes from here and one can only hope and pray that they get peace after 40 years of war.

“Afghanistan could have peace after 40 years. But if it goes wrong and which is what we are really worried about, it could go to chaos. The biggest humanitarian crisis, a huge refugee problem,” Khan said.

The prime minister said it was a “fallacy” that Afghanistan could be controlled from outside, saying history showed “no puppet government in Afghanistan is supported by the people”.

Read: PM CAUTIONS AGAINST SPOILERS TRYING TO DESTABILISE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN

“No puppet government in Afghanistan is supported by the people. So rather than sitting here and thinking that we can control them, we should incentivize them.

Prime Minister Khan said further said: “The current government in Afghanistan clearly feels that without international aid and help, they will not be able to stop this crisis. So we should push them in the right direction.”

Pak-US ties

To a question on Pakistan and United States relations, the prime minister said that he had not spoken with US President Joe Biden since the Taliban takeover.

“I would imagine he’s very busy, but our relationship with the US is not just dependent on a phone call, it needs to be a multidimensional relationship,” PM Khan replied to a question asked about Biden hadn’t called him since coming into office.

The prime minister further said that he repeatedly warned US officials that America could not achieve its objectives militarily, and would “be stuck there.” He said the US should have attempted a political settlement with the Taliban.

PM Imran Khan said that thousands of Pakistanis lost their lives in terrorist attacks by militant groups for becoming an ally of the US.

“Just because we sided with the US, we became an ally of the US after 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan. The suffering this country went through with at one point there were 50 militant groups attacking our government… on top of it, they must also know there were 480 drone attacks by the US in Pakistan,” he added.

On Women’s rights in Afghanistan under the new setup, PM Khan said: “It is a mistake to think that someone from outside can give Afghan women their rights.”

He said that the women in the neighboring country are strong and the international community should give them time and they will get their rights themselves.

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