Pak PM’s ‘interim government’ remark irks Afghanistan; Kabul recalls envoy to Islamabad
Kabul, March 27: Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan witnessed yet another sour moment in the wake of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's reported remarks that Kabul should set up an interim government and Kabul recalled its ambassador to Islamabad over the controversy, Reuters reported. Afghanistan also called Khan's remarks "irresponsible".
On Monday, PM Khan told the media that forming an interim government in Afghanistan would make the ongoing peace talks between the US and Taliban negotiators smooth as the extremist group refuses to speak to the current government in Kabul.
"The Afghan government was a hurdle in (the) peace process that was insisting that Taliban should talk to it," the PTI leader was quoted as saying.
Khan also said that he had scrapped a scheduled meeting with Taliban leaders because the Afghan government raised objections.
Kabul also summoned Pakistan's deputy ambassador to discuss Khan's remarks, Afghanistan's foreign ministry spokesperson Sibghatullah Ahmadi said in a series of tweets on Tuesday and it was later confirmed by the Afghan embassy, the Reuters report added.
Ahmadi said Kabul saw Khan's statements as "an obvious example of Pakistan's interventional policy and disrespect to the national sovereignty and determination of the people of Afghanistan".
1/3 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, summoned the Deputy Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with respect to the recent irresponsible remarks of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. pic.twitter.com/HnVaB5zVD2— Sibghatullah Ahmadi (@Sibghat_Ah) March 26, 2019
US negotiator also not impressed
US Special Envoy for Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who was been speaking with the Taliban, was also not impressed with Khan's words. In a tweet, he said: "While Pakistan has made constructive contributions on the Afghan Peace Process, PM Khan's comments did not."
While #Pakistan has made constructive contributions on the #AfghanPeaceProcess, PM Khan's comments did not. The future of #Afghanistan is for #Afghans, and only Afghans, to decide. The role of the international community is to encourage Afghans to come together so they can do so.— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) March 26, 2019
"The future of Afghanistan is for Afghans, and only Afghans, to decide."
Afghanistan will go to its next presidential election in September and current president Ashraf Ghani has rejected the idea of an interim government.