KABUL: Afghanistan has recalled its ambassador from Pakistan over reported remarks by Prime Minister Imran Khan that suggested Kabul should set up an interim government, calling the comments "irresponsible".
Khan told Pakistani journalists on Monday that forming an interim Afghan government would smooth peace talks between US and Taliban officials since the militant group refuses to speak to the current government.
"The Afghan government was a hurdle in (the) peace process that was insisting that Taliban should talk to it," the prime minister was quoted as saying.
Afghanistan also summoned Pakistan's deputy ambassador to discuss the "irresponsible" remarks by Khan, said foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Sibghatullah Ahmadi in a series of tweets on Tuesday.
1/3 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, summoned the Deputy Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with respect to the recent irresponsible remarks of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. pic.twitter.com/HnVaB5zVD2— Sibghatullah Ahmadi (@Sibghat_Ah) March 26, 2019
The Afghan government deemed Khan's statements as "an obvious example of Pakistan's interventional policy and disrespect to the national sovereignty and determination of the people of Afghanistan," Ahmadi said.
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The row marks the third time in just over a month that Kabul has demanded an explanation from Pakistan over comments related to peace talks, illustrating the flaring tensions between the two neighbours at a sensitive time.
US and Taliban officials have held recurring talks to end the 17-year war, but the Taliban consider the Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani as illegitimate.