- In interview with CNN, Khan says new Taliban administration needs to be given time and 'should be pushed in the right direction'
Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the international community should incentivise the Taliban administration instead of trying to control Afghanistan from outside, stressing that the new rulers need to be given time and "should be pushed in the right direction".
In an interview with CNN's 'Connect the World', Khan said that Afghanistan's current government clearly feels that without international aid and help, they will not be able to end the currently brewing economic crisis.
The premier noted that Afghanistan is at a “historic crossroads”, stressing that an unstable Afghanistan can become a threat for everyone.
“If they [Taliban] get all the factions together, Afghanistan could have peace after 40 years,” he added.
However, he warned that if things go wrong, "we could face the biggest humanitarian and refugee problem".
When asked by the host, Becky Anderson, about the interim government of Afghanistan not being inclusive, which remains a concern for the international community, Khan said that “where Afghanistan goes from here, I am afraid none of us could predict.”
"We can hope and pray that there is peace after 40 years. That the Taliban, what they have said, that they want an inclusive government, they want women rights — in their own context, they want human rights; they have given amnesty so, so far what they have said [shows] clearly they want international acceptability.
The prime minister said it was a "fallacy" that Afghanistan could be controlled from outside, saying history showed "no puppet government in Afghanistan is supported by the people".
To a question about women's rights, the prime minister said that "I feel strongly that it’s a mistake to think that someone from outside will give Afghan women their rights.
“Afghan women are strong, give them time. They will get their own rights,” he said.
When asked if US President Joe Biden had called him since coming into office, the premier said "he is a busy man."
Pakistan is a major non-Nato ally and yet no call between you and the US president, asked Anderson.
The premier said Biden should be the one asked: "Why he is too busy to call".
However, Khan stressed that Pakistan has suffered greatly after 9/11, saying "at one point, there were 50 militant groups attacking our government."
"Fast forward to 9/11, the US needs us in Afghanistan. George Bush asked Pakistan to help and he famously said, we will not abandon Pakistan again. Pakistan joined the US war in Afghanistan. [If I was] the prime minister, I would have never done that," he added.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington will be looking at its relationship with Pakistan in the coming weeks to formulate what role the US would want Islamabad to play in the future of Afghanistan.
"It is one that is involved hedging its bets constantly about the future of Afghanistan.. It is one that's also involved in different points cooperation with us on counterterrorism," Blinken said.
Pakistan is considered as one of the two countries, along with Qatar, with the most influence over the Taliban.