ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said Pakistan is not a spokesman of Taliban and what is being done by them has nothing to do with Pakistan.
While interacting with representatives of Afghan media, the prime minister said that Pakistan is neither responsible for Taliban actions nor is their spokesperson.
The prime minister said what the Taliban are doing has nothing to do with Pakistan and "you have to speak to Taliban [about] what they are doing or not doing."
The prime minister said that Pakistan has no favourites in Afghanistan and is not following the policy of "strategic depth" any more.
We do not have foreign policy of "strategic depth" as was in the 90s and [have] made it clear to Afghan president that Pakistan would take action if anyone was spotted by Afghanistan. We have sought evidence from Afghanistan for accusing Pakistan, said the prime minister in response to questions of the media persons.
The premier added that Ashraf Ghani wanted Pakistan to take action, including military action against the families of Afghan refugees based in Pakistan.
Pakistan will do anything but would not use military action inside Pakistan, he added.
The prime minister said that Pakistan has built a fence along the border at a huge cost with Afghanistan to stop outflow and inflow into Pakistan. Ninety percent work has been completed.
He said that the account of the ambassador's daughter does not match with the police investigation and Pakistan will give all the information to the team coming from Afghanistan.
We have consistently asked Afghanistan about Quetta Shura hubs and so on in Pakistan, he added.
The prime minister said that an inclusive government is the only solution of Afghanistan and wondered what the US would achieve in Afghanistan from bases in Pakistan, what it was unable to achieve by being within Afghanistan during the last 20 years.
He said that once the situation calms down there, Pakistan and Afghanistan would have the best relations, adding that relationship would get stronger with each passing year as these would be beneficial for both the countries.
The prime minister said Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan to access the Central Asian countries, and Pakistan signed an agreement with Uzbekistan for a railway project through Afghanistan.
All future economic strategies are dependent on peace in Afghanistan. If civil war goes on between Taliban and the Afghan government, it will almost certainly spill over to Pakistan's tribal areas, dragging Pakistan in it, which would be the last thing Pakistan would want as Pakistan has already lost 70,000 people in the war on terrorism.
And finally, the prime minister said that Pakistan already has three million Afghan refugees and Pakistan does not have economic conditions to have another influx of refugees.
He said that Pakistan was very disappointed over statement by the Afghan president accusing Pakistan because no country had tried harder as Pakistan in forcing Taliban to get on the dialogue table first with the Americans and then trying to get them on dialogue table with the Afghan government.
He said that no country tried as hard as Pakistan for political settlement in Afghanistan and Pakistan's efforts were verified by the US focal person, Zalmay Khalilzad.
The prime minister said that there is a feeling in Afghanistan, and unfortunately, this feeling is deliberately perpetuated by India, that Pakistan is controlled by the military establishment.
The prime minister said that all the foreign policies made by his present government have been part of the manifesto for the past 25 year. I have always believed that there was no military solution in Afghanistan and have always believed eventually there would be a political settlement in Afghanistan; he said, adding that this is exactly that he has been saying for the last 15 years.
To a question about trilateral talks on Afghanistan among Pakistan, India and Afghan government, the prime minister said that on 5th August 2019 India took way that statehood the special status of Kashmiris and from then onward Pakistan has broken up all diplomatic relations with India.
The prime minister added that unfortunately, until India restores the statehood, Pakistan cannot have really trilateral talks.
India on August 5 2019 unilaterally discarded the UNSC resolution that allows people of Kashmir through plebiscite would decide whether they wanted to be part of India or Pakistan. Since that right was not given to them, the people of Kashmir have struggled to get that right and Pakistan backed them.
The prime minister said that Pakistan army fully supported the government and fully backed all the government initiatives for peace with India but its India that refused to have peace because India today is being controlled by RSS ideology, which is anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021