Islamabad, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has brushed aside the accusations on Pakistan being supportive of a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, stating that the country does not have magic powers to dictate terms to the Taliban.
Imran Khan said that Pakistan is not gaining anything from the situation in Afghanistan, instead it is worried because the situation there seems to be moving towards a long civil war, which, he said, will have direct impact on Pakistan as well.
“Pakistan will have direct impact of a long civil war in Afghanistan because of the large Pashtun population we have in the country. The country that will be most affected after Afghanistan will be Pakistan. It has happened in the past when our Pashtun people reacted to what was happening in Afghanistan. Because of that, we lost over 60,000 people,” he said.
Khan also lashed out at the Joe Biden administration, stating that the US has always seen Pakistan as useful only in the context of the mess it is leaving behind in Afghanistan after 20 years of fighting.
“At the moment, the most important thing for Afghanistan is a ceasefire,” Khan said.
Since the time the US and other foreign forces started withdrawing from Afghanistan, the Taliban have been making strong forward movement, claiming at least eight provinces, including the bordering areas.
The west alleges that Pakistan’s support for the Taliban has allowed it to whether the war, a blame Khan denied.
The Pakistan premier said that a political settlement in Afghanistan between the Ashraf Ghani-led government and the Taliban looks difficult as the Taliban have refused to have any talks with Ghani.
“The condition is that as long as President Ashraf Ghani is there, the Taliban are not going to talk to the Afghan government,” Khan said, quoting his recent meeting with the Taliban delegation in Pakistan.
Analysts said the western belief that Pakistan has achieved its goal by supporting the Taliban to take back control in Afghanistan is an incorrect approach, as in case the Taliban form government in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be among the most sensitively impacted neighbours, as the voices supportive of Taliban will start surfacing from major parts of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, which may pose a serious threat to the country.
If the voices join together and form a force, which is supported by the Taliban, it may be looking towards toppling the current democratic set up of the country.