‘Good Taliban’ gaining power in Afghanistan

RAWALPINDI   -   Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that Pakistan is desirous of peace in Afghanistan.

Talking to the media here on Sunday, he said Afghanistan is a sovereign country and that Pakistan’s government and armed forces together will pave the way for peace in Afghanistan. The Interior Minister said the entire nation stands by the armed forces for the country’s security. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan is fighting the case of Indian Illegally-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the entire world.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed reiterated that Pakistan won’t give air bases to the US. “Pakistan will stand by its decision to not provide air bases to the United States,: he said, reiterating the government’s resolve for peace in Afghanistan. The minister said the region’s politics is headed towards a new direction following the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. “Pakistan aspires for peace in Afghanistan,” the interior minister said. He also stressed that the government and the opposition were on the same page in this regard. The interior minister’s statement comes after US President Joe Biden last week announced the military mission in Afghanistan would end on August 31.

The interior minister further said that it’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country. He said the “good Taliban” were advancing and gaining power in Afghanistan. “It is important, not only for Pakistan, but the entire region to initiate talks with the Afghan Taliban,” the interior minister stressed. “No superpower can ignore Pakistan, there is no pressure on us,” he said and reiterated that the country would not provide bases to anyone for carrying out operations in Afghanistan. He was of the view that India faced embarrassment in Afghanistan and there was no other option for New Delhi to withdraw its personnel from there.

Shedding light on why peace in war-torn Afghanistan was necessary, he said China’s investment would not bear fruit unless there was stability in Afghanistan. He said India was carrying out terrorist activities in Afghanistan and over the past 40 years, was conveying false information about Pakistan to the world. He said Pakistan’s policy has changed, just like the Taliban have changed and asserted that Islamabad would accept any government that has the backing of the Afghan people. Speaking about border crossing with Afghanistan, the minister said only the Torkham and Chaman borders will remain open, adding that vaccinated Pakistanis would only be allowed to enter the country.

The interior minister also lashed out at the opposition leaders, saying that when they make speeches against Prime Minister Imran Khan during their election campaigns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, it makes their intentions clear. “They have political issues and may Allah resolve them,” he quipped. He told the media that the US and UK were aware of the many bank accounts the opposition leaders had there. He said Imran Khan will fight for the Kashmir cause across the globe and PTI will form its government in the upcoming AJK elections adding that PTI is a national party and Pakistan Army is our national army.

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