AT News Report
KABUL: Pakistan has once again attempted to interfere into internal affairs of Afghanistan as its Prime Minister Imran Khan suggested an interim setup in Afghanistan as a possible solution to an apparent impasse in the ongoing peace process, while blaming the Afghan government for the stalemate in talks.
According to Pakistan’s Express Tribune report, the suggestion came during Khan’s interaction with journalists at his office in Islamabad on Monday. “The Afghan government was a hurdle in peace process that was insisting that Taliban should talk to it,” said Khan.
He also confirmed that he had cancelled a scheduled meeting with Taliban leadership due to objections raised by the Afghan government.
Khan said 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.
“How much time it will take to set up an interim government and hold free elections, I cannot say,” he added, as quoted by the Express Tribune.
The Afghan peace process is aimed at ending the longest war that the US has ever fought. The US and the Taliban last month agreed in draft on foreign forces withdrawal and counterterrorism assurances after 16-day talks in Qatar.
The Pakistani Prime Minister noted that the US had acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s role for bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.
According to the Express Tribune report, Khan said the US thought it was only Pakistan that could bring Taliban to the negotiating table.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recalled its ambassador from Islamabad and also summoned the Deputy Ambassador of Pakistan to the ministry to convey him the grave protest of Afghanistan over recent “irresponsible remarks” of Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan.
“Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its grave objection on Pakistani PM’s recent reckless statements about the peace process and establishment of an interim government, deemed such statements an obvious example of Pakistan’s interventional policy and disrespect to the national sovereignty and determination of the people of Afghanistan” foreign ministry said in a statement.
It said to have also recalled Afghanistan’s Ambassador from Islamabad, Atif Mashal for further discussions on the matter.
This remarks of Imran Khan earned harsh criticism from Afghan people through social media as well. The Afghan people suggested an interim government for Baluchistan which is permanent solution to Baluch people and peace in Baluchistan.
Afghans clearly told Imran Khan that if any country needs an interim gov’t, its Pakistan. 1. Balochs want independence (balochistan) 2. Pashtuns want their rights 3. Hindus, 4. Christians, 5. Ahmadis are prosecuted on daily basis. 6. Sindhis want Sindudesh.
Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Former National Security Advisor and a presidential candidate for 2019 polls called on Pakistan to refrain interfering into internal affairs of the country.
“We at the Peace and Moderation team condemn the inappropriate statement by Prime Minster of Pakistan. We call on our neighboring country to respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty and abide by internationally accepted norms of state behavior in its relation with our country,” he tweeted.
To clarify, our position about the formation of a caretaker government post 21st of May 2019 is strictly a domestic matter, based on a legitimate national concern and fully consistent with our constitution. Regardless of any foreign interference, we will continue to pursue this policy, he furthered.
“Meanwhile, I’m disappointed by remarks by ex-colleagues showing grave lapse of judgement. Our team’s past record of sacrifice for our country’s independence speak for itself. We’ve always stood and fought on the right side of history and shall continue to do so in future,” he added.
Another Afghan via his twitter account said that Pakistan Imran Khan and the Taliban seem to be on the same page wanting interim government in Afghanistan.
Recently Imran Khan said that peace in Afghanistan is “around the corner,” referring to the efforts by the United States for a political settlement to the conflict in the country.
“Negotiations have been initiated with the Taliban. God willing, our brothers in Afghanistan would live together in peace in coming days,” Khan told a big public gathering in northwestern Bajaur tribal district.
“A good government will be established in Afghanistan, a government where all Afghans will be represented. The war will end and peace will be established there,” Khan said as quoted in the VOA report.
Soon after the remark, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) summoned a senior official from Pakistani Embassy in Kabul over “new government” remarks by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and termed the remark as clear and evident interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
“We shared our serious criticism with Pakistani side,” the ministry official said in that time.
The Afghan masses, influential figures, political parties and ordinary Afghans stood against Pakistan’s remarks into internal affairs of Afghanistan as they say recent statement attributed by Imran Khan is a willful interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. The Afghans collectively told Pakistan that Afghanistan is a sovereign nation and the Afghan people, not the leader of the neighboring country, can decide the future of government and politics in our country.