Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday repeated his controversial statement regarding an interim setup in Afghanistan which he believes will break the so-called stalemate on peace.
Addressing a rally in Jamrud, a town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khan said that he had given a “brotherly advice” to Afghanistan but he was slammed for his statement, the National Courier said in a report.
“We should all pray for peace in Afghanistan so that the people over there can live once again,” he said. “I gave a brotherly advice to the Afghan government due to which they became furious. I have learned in my experience that neutrality benefits everyone,” the Pakistani Prime Minister told the Jamrud gathering, as quoted by the National Courier.
Khan’s Friday remarks supported the suggestion he made in late March in which he had said the formation of an interim government in Afghanistan can possibly resolve the problems and will support the ongoing peace process.
He also had blamed the Afghan government for being an obstacle to the peace process.
“The Afghan government was a hurdle in the peace process that was insisting that Taliban should talk to it,” Khan had said at the time.
He added that the Afghan peace process can only be successful if there is a neutral interim government, which can hold free and transparent elections to be participated by all the stakeholders.
Khan’s remarks, however, were then sharply criticized by the Afghan government. In reaction to his comments, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Pakistan’s deputy ambassador to Kabul and also called the Afghan envoy from Islamabad to Kabul.
The ministry in a statement called the remarks a clear interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
The remarks were also criticized by Afghan politicians who labeled the statement “irresponsible”.
Even the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad reacted to the remarks and said that it is only Afghans who will define their future.
“While Pakistan has made constructive contributions on the Afghan peace process, Prime Minister Khan’s comments did not. The future of Afghanistan is for Afghans, and only Afghans, to decide. The role of the international community is to encourage Afghans to come together so they can do so,” Khalilzad said in a tweet in March.
However, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said Khan’s remarks were misinterpreted.
Khan said that peace in Afghanistan would be beneficial for the tribal people in Pakistan.
“If there is peace in Afghanistan, tribal people will benefit,” he said.
This time, too, some Afghan politicians reacted to the new comments by Khan.
“Repetition of the disrespectful statement on Afghan internal matters by Pakistani Prime Imran Khan is very unfortunate and deplorable,” the former National Security Advisor and presidential candidate Mohammad Haneef Atmar said in a tweet on Friday, April 5. “What we need from a neighbor is non-interference, respect for state sovereignty and genuine help with peace.”