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Imran Khan’s remarks row: Afghanistan Recalls Ambassador, summons Pakistan’s Deputy Envoy

Kabul, March 26 : Furious over the recent “irresponsible” remarks by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on an interim setup in Afghanistan that would smooth peace talks between US and Taliban officials , the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday summoned the Deputy Ambassador of Pakistan to Kabul, Shahbaz Hussain and recalled Afghanistan’s Ambassador from Islamabad.

“Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its grave objection on Pakistani Prime Minister’s recent ‘reckless’ statements about the peace process and establishment of an interim government and deemed such statements an obvious example of Pakistan’s interventional policy and disrespect to the national sovereignty and determination of the people of Afghanistan,” the ministry said in a statement.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday suggested an interim setup in Afghanistan as a possible solution to an apparent impasse in the ongoing peace process, while blaming the Afghan government for the stalemate in talks.

The suggestion came during PM Khan’s interaction with journalists at his office here on Monday.

“The Afghan government was a hurdle in peace process that was insisting that Taliban should talk to it,” said PM Khan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also recalled Atif Mashal, Afghanistan’s Ambassador, from Islamabad for further discussions on the matter, the statement said.

Afghanistan political leaders took to social media on Tuesday to dismiss the controversial remarks by Pakistan’s Prime Minister.

Khan said the Afghan government creates an obstruction on the way of peace talks with the Taliban.

The Pakistan PM noted that the US had acknowledged that only Islamabad could bring Taliban to the negotiating table and appreciated Pakistan’s role for bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.

On the contrary, Afghan government has been blaming Pakistan for harboring key Taliban leaders on its soil and providing them with sanctuaries to stage war against Afghan forces while Pakistan has been denying the allegations.

“The PM of Pak asks for abrogation of Afg constitution & demolition of democratic system as a way to break the so-called deadlock in peace efforts. That is the price ISI wants us to pay to appease terrorism. Wonder why @MHaneefAtmar team echoes Pakistan’s demand in a veiled way,”Amrullah Saleh, the former head of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency and a staunch anti-Pakistan veteran tweeted.

 

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