ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan warned Monday that sanctioning the Taliban government would help strengthen Daesh/ISIS in Afghanistan while the Taliban are best positioned to get rid of the terrorist group.
In an interview with UK-based online news outlet Middle East Eye aired by state-run Pakistan Television, Khan urged the United States to “pull itself together” and not push Afghanistan toward becoming a haven again for terrorists.
“It’s a critical point for understanding that the world must engage with Afghanistan, because if it pushes it away, within the Taliban movement, I would imagine there would be hardliners, and so it can easily go back to the Taliban of 20 years ago, and that would be a disaster,” he warned
“What has the US got to show after that 20 years? A stable Afghanistan, government, which can then take on ISIS,” Khan said, using another name for the Daesh/ISIS terror group.
“Believe me, the Taliban are the best [ones] to get rid of ISIS.”
Speaking on the demand by Western countries that the Taliban respect women’s rights and girls’ rights, especially to education, Khan said they should give the Taliban time, as they have already promised these things.
“My contention is that rather than forcing the Taliban to do this and that, they have said that they will give them an education, will allow them to go to jobs [within] the Islamic culture, and don’t push them.
“I would imagine that the nature of the people [Taliban] is such that they will push back, and it will be counterproductive,” Khan warned.
He reiterated his call for the international community to engage with the new Taliban government, as sanctioning them would bring about a humanitarian crisis in the country.
– Attacks inside Pakistan decreased after US withdrawal
Khan said terrorist attacks inside his country have decreased after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“As the American footprint decreased, so the motivation [of the Pakistani Taliban] went down, [and] now we are trying to talk to those who can be reconciled,” he said.
Earlier this month, Khan revealed that his government is in talks with some groups of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to persuade them to lay down their arms and become normal citizens of the country.
He said the Pakistani Taliban had carried out more than 60,000 attacks and killed over 80,000 people as they thought that Pakistan was an ally of the US, but now his country is no longer an ally of Washington in war.
He added that the Afghan Taliban have also assured that the TTP would not be allowed to use Afghan soil for attacks against his country.-AA