Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will decide whether Pakistan will recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan or not. He was addressing a press conference here on Wednesday.
On Sunday, the Afghan Taliban returned to power after twenty years. They entered Kabul on Sunday noon, completing the overall takeover of the country with the capture of capital Kabul.
“It’s very crucial time,” the interior minister said, adding that some people wanted to make Pakistan a scapegoat for what happened in Afghanistan, but they had failed. Rasheed said Pakistan won’t allow anyone to use its soil to be used against any country.
It is in the nature of every corrupt person to flee a country, he said. They either have their ill-gotten money already stored outside their countries or they take it with them, he said.
Rasheed was referring to reports that former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani took three cars and a helicopter full of dollars in cash with him while fleeing Kabul.
He rubbished the report by Indian media that there is turbulence at entry points on Pak-Afghan border, said Pakistan’s both Torkham and Chaman border crossings were peaceful.
He said similarly there was no substance in reports doing rounds on Indian media that Afghan refugees had entered Pakistan.
“Let me tell you that not a single Afghan refugee has entered Pakistan so far,” he said emphatically. He said whatever Indian media was propagating about the situation on the Pak-Afghan border was a pack of lies.
“The hybrid war is against Pakistan,” he said, and added, “India had to taste defeat on the Afghan issue.”
Agreeing with the contents of the press conference addressed by Taliban spokesman Zabeehullah Mujahid in Kabul on Tuesday, Rasheed said whatever he had said was Pakistan’s agenda.
It is now up to Afghans to determine their future. We hope that soon the situation will return to normalcy in the strife-torn country,” he hoped. He said it was up to Prime Minister Imran Khan to recognise the Taliban government.
The minister said PM Imran had extended an olive branch to former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani time and again, but the latter had other ideas.
He said Pakistan had played an important role in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table. “We will not let anybody use Pakistan’s soil against any country,” he said categorically.
He said no superpower could ignore Pakistan when it came to the situation in Afghanistan.
Rasheed said Pakistan would issue visas to foreign journalists, International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials and ambassadors.
Regarding the situation in Afghanistan, he said Pakistan stood by the international community. “We want peace and normalcy in our neighbour to the west,” he reiterated.
Informing the media that all Pakistanis stranded in Afghanistan would be brought back in two days, the interior minister said that so far 613 Pakistanis had been brought back to the country. Rasheed said the Ministry of Interior had been working round the clock since August 14.
He appealed to the mourners to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) during Muharram processions and majalis.—INP