Dialogue initiated with Taliban for inclusive govt: PM

Imran says inclusivity to ensure peace after 40 years of conflict

APP September 18, 2021
PHOTO: Screengrab


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that he had initiated dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive government in Afghanistan to include Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbek ethnicities.

The prime minister, who paid a two-day visit to Tajikistan mainly to attend the SCO Summit, met with the leadership of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries and including Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

“After meetings in Dushanbe with the leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbours & especially a lengthy discussion with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon, I have initiated a dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghan govt to include Tajiks, Hazaras & Uzbeks,” the prime minister said on Twitter.

He said after 40 years of conflict, this inclusivity would ensure peace and a stable Afghanistan, which was in the interest not only of Afghanistan but the region as well.

At SCO too, the prime minister had reiterated Pakistan’s stance for an inclusive government in Afghanistan representing all communities to achieve durable peace in the country.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he believed US President Joe Biden was targeted with "unfair criticism" over troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, terming his decision to pull out troops “the most sensible thing to do”.

In an interview with Russian broadcaster RT, the premier referred to former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country and the army surrendering a week before departure of foreign forces.
"How can you prepare for that?” he asked.

"So there was so much unfair criticism of President Biden, and what he did was the most sensible thing to do," said PM Imran while commending the US president for his decision.

When asked about the kind of relationship he had with Biden, Imran said his government had ties with the US. "Our security chiefs keep exchanging views about Afghanistan," he added.

The prime minister also said he wasn't sure whether the US had any coherent policy on what they were going to do in the war-ravaged country.

He also called upon the United States to devise a strategy if a humanitarian crisis broke out triggered by a feared halt in international help to Afghanistan.

"There will be far-reaching consequences in terms of the refugee problem, which Pakistan and Iran will feel more as they have taken more number of refugees," he cautioned.

The premier stressed the US had a big role to play, as it was there [in Afghanistan] for 20 years.
The only reason the US invaded Afghanistan, he said, was terrorism.

"What would be the achievement if Afghan soil becomes a place for terrorists again. We should not let Afghanistan drift towards another crisis," emphasised the PM.'Deeply hurt by US senators' remarks'The premier said he was deeply hurt by the remarks of US senators against Pakistan over the Afghan debacle.

"Pakistan is the country that gave the greatest number of sacrifices for the US in its war," PM Imran said.

“We were asked to become part of this coalition when Pakistan had nothing to do with 9/11 as there wasn't any Pakistani involved. We had no reason to enter the war."

He said it was painful to see the US making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures.

With additional input from News Desk




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