Afghanistan snubs Imran Khan, says don’t interfere in internal affairs

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan suggested that an interim administration in Afghanistan could help end an impasse in talks with the Taliban.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s suggestion that an interim administration in Afghanistan could help end an impasse in talks with the Taliban prompted angry reactions on Tuesday from Afghan politicians, who accused him of interfering in their country’s internal affairs.

Afghanistan’s ministry of foreign affairs summoned the deputy ambassador of Pakistan late on Tuesday over Khan’s remarks. “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,” it said, also recalling Afghanistan’s ambassador from Islamabad for further discussions on the matter.

Khan made the remarks during an interaction with the Pakistani media in Islamabad on Monday, when he blamed the Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani for the stalemate in talks with the Taliban.

“The Afghan government was a hurdle in the peace process (as it is) insisting that Taliban should talk to it,” Khan was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

The Afghan peace process can succeed only if there is a neutral interim government that can hold free and transparent elections participated in by all stakeholders, he added. Khan also said he had to cancel a scheduled meeting with the Taliban leadership because of objections from the Afghan government.

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