ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the world has no other alternative but to recognise the Taliban government in Afghanistan.
In an interview with France’s Le Figaro, PM Imran said that Pakistan cannot be the only country to recognise the Taliban government, adding that it should be a collective process.
“If Pakistan is the first to grant recognition, the international pressure will become too much for us as we are trying to turn our economy around. We can only recover if we have good relations with the international community,” he added
The PM said, “Pakistan believes that the more stable the Afghan government is, the less the terrorist groups can operate there.”
He maintained that the Taliban government has assured Islamabad of developing an inclusive government and ensuring human rights.
Afghans should not be expected to respect women’s rights as Westerners understand them, said the PM, adding that Taliban have told Pakistan that that girls should be educated.
Responding to a question, the PM said Pakistan’s first concern are the refugees.
“If the humanitarian crisis worsens in Afghanistan, we will have an influx of refugees, while more than 240,000 have already fled their country after the fall of Kabul. We do not have the resources to accept more refugees,” said the premier.
He said Pakistan does not want international terrorism to operate from Afghanistan but this can only be done with the help of the Taliban government.
“We have already lost 80,000 lives in the war on terrorism and we do not want a conflict with the Afghan government. We will be partners with the US in peace, not in war,” said the PM.
‘Pakistan enjoys good ties with US’
PM Imran Khan said that he has always been a critic of the US invasion of Afghanistan.
Responding to a question about his recent harsh remarks about US, the PM said that he had criticised Washington over terrorism and Afghanistan’s situation. He said that Pakistan was blamed for US failure in Afghanistan.
The PM said that Pakistan enjoys good ties with the US.
When asked about Kashmir dispute, the PM said the attitude of the BJP government and the RSS towards Pakistan and Kashmir is worrisome.
“We are dealing with a government that is not rational, whose ideology is based on hatred of religious minorities and Pakistan. We cannot talk to them. We are at a dead end,” said PM Imran.
The premier said talks with India at this point in time would be like betraying the Kashmiris who have suffered so much and who live in an open-air prison environment with 800,000 troops deployed in the region.
He, however, said it is possible to build a relationship with India, but this requires the restoration of Kashmir’s autonomy. They have violated international law with this abrogation, said the premier.
France is our trade partner
On ties with France, the PM pointed out that about half of our exports go to the European Union, of which France is one of the most significant members.
The premier said that France is also Pakistan’s trading partner and showed his inclination to meet French President Emmanuel Macron.