Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that there is “no other alternative to Taliban in Afghanistan,” so the “only option the world has right now is to engage with the Taliban for things to move forward.”
In an exclusive interview with Fareed Zakaria for CNN, the premier talked about Pakistan’s diplomatic relations with the new Taliban government in Afghanistan, the current state of the war on terror, and other issues.
PM said that sooner or later, the Taliban will have to be recognised as it is about the well-being and future of about 40 million Afghans.
“Forty million people in Afghanistan are in dire straits because of the ongoing situation in the country,” the premier said, adding that the people of the United States should understand that disliking the Taliban government is one thing but thinking about the welfare of the Afghans is another as they are facing “extreme difficulties.”
“Afghanistan is on the verge of experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis,” PM Imran said. “Considering the circumstances, is there any other alternative to the Taliban in Afghanistan? No, there isn’t.”
He questioned how would it be beneficial for the people of Afghanistan if the Taliban government is overthrown.
“Therefore, the only alternative we have is to work with the Taliban government [for the sake of the Afghans] because turning the Taliban away would only lead to chaos in the country,” PM Imran Khan reiterated.
The premier said that Pakistan already has three million Afghan refugees so the country does not have the capacity to accept more.
“The Afghan people are being severely affected by the non-recognition of the Taliban government and the freezing of their banking system,” Prime Minister Imran said.
He went on to say that the United States’ War on Terror (WoT) backfired and increased the number of terrorists worldwide, adding that because of the war, there had been extensive casualties in Pakistan as more than 80,000 Pakistani citizens lost their lives during the war.
“Pakistan had to bear the brunt of the war in Afghanistan by witnessing numerous suicide attacks,” he said. “The US must reconsider its policy on carrying out drone attacks.”
When questioned about China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims, PM Imran said that Pakistan’s ambassador to China Moin-ul-Haq had visited the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and said that the situation over there is “not what the Western media portrays.”
The premier said that a comparison of Pakistan’s condemnation of India committing genocide of innocent people in occupied Kashmir and the issue of Xinjiang is not fair.
“Occupied Kashmir is a disputed territory between Pakistan and India and India is ruled by an RSS ideology,” the premier said. “Until the Kashmir issue is resolved, the fear of war between the two nuclear powers will remain intact.”
Talking about Pakistan’s relations with India, PM Imran said that he has many friends in India.
“As soon as I became the prime minister of Pakistan, I approached India and offered to make things right between the two countries and establish better relations,” he said. “I told PM Narendra Modi if he took one step forward, I would take two.”
The premier said he told Modi that the issue of Kashmir should be resolved amicably.
“Unfortunately, however, India has fallen prey to RSS ideology,” the PM said. “Google it to find out who created RSS.”
“I know India more than anyone else,” PM Imran Khan said.