Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Afghanistan’s repeated accusations against his country for being responsible for its worsening situation was unfortunate, adding that Islamabad has always desired for peace and an inclusive government setup for its neighbour as it goes in favour of the two nations.
Speaking to journalists and Afghan in Islamabad, Khan said Pakistan is not the spokesperson for the Taliban nor does it have anything to do with what the militant group is doing in Afghanistan.
“What the Taliban are doing or not doing has nothing to do with us and we are not responsible, neither are we the spokesperson of the Taliban,” he said, adding that “Pakistan has always desired for peace in Afghanistan”.
Khan said Pakistan has been and continues to be willing to go to every extent required to ensure a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.
However, he ruled out the use of force against the Taliban.
“We believe that Afghanistan cannot be controlled from the outside. Our policy is to have the best relationship with whoever the people of Afghanistan choose,” he said.
Referring to the US’ demand of using Pakistani bases to carry out operations in Afghanistan, Khan said: “I fail to understand what can the US achieve in Afghanistan while sitting on the outside, as it badly failed while being inside Afghanistan for 20 years.”
The Prime Minister regretted that his country is being blamed for the promoting and spreading unrest in Afghanistan, insisting that an unsettled Kabul was not in Islamabad’s interest.
“What interest would Pakistan possible have for a civil war in Afghanistan? We would do everything short of military action against the Taliban as doing so would only drag Pakistan into a conflict.
“If there is a civil war in Afghanistan, its spillover will fall into Pakistan’s tribal areas. We cannot afford to do that any more. We have already lost over 70,000 Pakistanis when the country took part in the US-led war on terror,” he added.
Khan also spoke about Pakistan’s relationship with India, stating that Islamabad will not accept any participation of New Delhi in the Afghan peace process until the latter reverses what he called “illegal decisions of August 4, 2019”.
“Pakistan has always desired for peace with India, but it was India which did not want peace because it was at present under the influence of the RSS ideology.”