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Senior politicians slam Khan’s remarks as irresponsible

Senior politicians slam Khan’s remarks as irresponsible

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Mar 28, 2019 - 08:39

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Two senior Pakhtun political figures have slammed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks about an interim setup in Afghanistaninfo-icon as irresponsible.

Khan’s statement was faulted by Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) head Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao in separate press releases.

Asfandyar claimed Khan’s remarks amounted to interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. Meddling in affairs of other states was damaging for Pakistaninfo-icon, he argued.

“Those who have stolen a public mandate in their own country reserve no right to insult the mandate of the people of Afghanistan,” the veteran nationalist leader commented.

Asfandyar alleged the prime ministerial statement was an attempt at influencing efforts for reconciliation in the war-torn country. Such statements could not be ignored as peace efforts in Afghanistan had entered a crucial phase.

He asked Khan to explain on whose directives he had issued the statement that implied Pakistan was interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

The right of electing a government in Kabulinfo-icon rests with Afghan people and the ongoing peace process must respect the wishes of Afghans, according to the ANP chief.

Separately, QWP Chairman Aftab Sherpao warned Khan’s statement could damage Pakistan’s efforts to bring the Talibaninfo-icon to the negotiating table.

Afghanistan was a sovereign country and Pakistan should avoid meddling in its affairs, he reasoned, urging Islamabad to play its role in helping bring peace to Afghanistan.

“Peace is a prerequisite for development,” he said, adding the entire region would benefit if normalcy returned to Afghanistan.

Terrorism was the greatest challenge being faced by both Pakistan and Afghanistan, he believed, asking Islamabad to take steps to remove the trust deficit and improve relations with Kabul.

Also on Wednesday, Pakistan clarified Khan’s comments were reported out of context, leading to unwarranted reactions from various quarters.

“He was referring to Pakistan’s model where elections are held under an interim government. The comments should not be misinterpreted,” said the Foreign Office.

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