Pak has influence on Afghan Taliban but not control

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Trying to get Kabul airport operational soon

Staff Reporter
Islamabad

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday that the Afghan Taliban were under Pakistan’s influence but not its control.

In a statement, the minister maintained that the situation in Afghanistan was not so bad for people to leave the country, clarifying that Afghan refugees had not yet entered Pakistan.

Fawad added that Pakistan wanted the situation in Afghanistan to remain stable. “We are trying to get the Kabul Airport operational soon,” he added.

The information minister stated that Pakistan’s proposal on Afghanistan had been ignored before by former president Ashraf Ghani’s administration, as Prime Minister Imran Khan had suggested, to the now overthrown government, to not hold elections.

“He [Ashraf Ghani] did not accept the prime minister’s suggestion and the situation is for everyone to see today,” the minister said.

Earlier, the minister said that Pakistan was working with regional and international powers for an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan’s efforts for an inclusive government in Afghanistan must be supported,” the minister said in an interview with TRT World.

The information minister further said that forming a government in Afghanistan was the responsibility of the Afghan people but the regional powers would also have to stabilise the country.

“Pakistan and Turkey are important players in this issue. Both the countries are actually partners in peace as far as Afghanistan is concerned,” he said.

Fawad also warned that if the world repeated the mistake of abandoning Afghanistan again a space will be created for extremist organisations right at the border of Pakistan, which would be “hugely worrisome for us”.

“When the Soviet Union left Afghanistan, we had to deal with the problems left behind and now when the US and NATO forces are leaving Afghanistan we are again in a quagmire,” he stated.

The information minister added that if Afghanistan did not achieve stability, millions of Afghans would start moving towards Pakistan.

“Pakistan is already hosting 3.5 million Afghan refugees and our economy can not bear the burden of more refugees,” he stressed.

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