Pakistan says not responsible for Taliban actions in Afghanistan

The Nation  |  Jul 30, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his country is neither responsible for Taliban actions in Afghanistan, nor is his government a spokesperson for the group.

Interacting with a delegation of Afghan journalists, aired on state-run Pakistan television on Thursday, the PM rejected any action against families of Taliban members living in the country. His government cannot put the families of Afghan Taliban into prison, he said.

"What the Taliban are doing or aren't doing has nothing to do with us. You have to ask the Taliban about what they are doing; we are not responsible, neither are we spokespersons for the Taliban," he said while referring to allegations made by Afghan officials against Pakistan for supporting the Taliban.

"But you (Afghans) have two choices: for 20 years, a military solution has been attempted to bring peace to Afghanistan and that's failed. Now you have a choice, either with this American back military solution, you can continue because if you feel the Taliban are not someone you want to have as part of your government," said the PM..

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"The second solution is to have a government of political compromise between the Taliban and the government, an inclusive government (and) that's the only solution," the PM asserted.

Referring to his recent meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Uzbekistan, he said that he got the impression that Afghan government wanted to take military action against pro-Taliban people in Pakistan.

"We will do everything, but we will not use military force anymore in Pakistan," he said, adding that his country has already lost over 70,000 people in "someone else's war."

Responding to a question regarding any expected action against Taliban families living in Pakistan, he said his government cannot take any action against children and women living in Afghan refugee camps inside Pakistan.

"They (Afghan government) talked about families of Afghan Taliban in Pakistan. The question is what should Pakistan do?

“Put their families in jail?" he questioned.

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The PM also rejected any plan for a trilateral dialogue including India over Afghanistan and said his country has already cut off diplomatic ties with New Delhi after August 2019 actions in Kashmir.

"Until India restores Kashmir's statehood, Pakistan will not have a trilateral dialogue with India over the issue of Afghanistan,” he  concluded

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