Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated on Monday the importance of the international community’s engagement with the Taliban, warning that failing to do so may set the group back 20 years.
In an interview with the Middle East Eye, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke about the current situation in Afghanistan besides, relations with the US, Indian actions in occupied Kashmir, and allegations against China about the treatment of Uighurs.
PM Imran emphasized the importance of international engagement with the Taliban administration in Afghanistan, saying that the country had been ravaged by 20 years of civil war.
He claimed that after so many years of struggle, Taliban members would expect to be rewarded with a position in the government’s hierarchy.
“Yet, the government is clearly trying to get international acceptability so it wants an inclusive government, talks about human rights and not allowing its soil to be used for terrorism by anyone,” he said, asserting it as and an important point for the war-torn country.
“The world must engage with Afghanistan,” he mentioned as he warned of the consequence of failing to do so. “There must be hardliners within the group [and] it can easily go back to the Taliban of 20 years ago. And that would be a disaster.”
He said that if Afghanistan descended into disruption once more, it would provide fertile habitat for terrorists such as ISIS, which would be a concern for all countries in the region.
“It would be a total waste, what will the US have to show after 20 years? Therefore, a stable Afghanistan government which can then take on ISIS, and the Taliban are the best bet to take on ISIS that is the only option left.”
He claimed that imposing sanctions and isolating Afghanistan will raise a massive humanitarian crisis.
“If they are left like this, my worry is that [Afghanistan] could revert back to 1989 when the Soviets and Americans left,” he said, adding that over 200,000 Afghans died in that chaos.
Later in his interview, Prime Minister Imran Khan talked about the interpretations in the west about the life of The Holy Prophet (PBUH), The PM stated “People in the west don’t treat Religion like we do, they can’t understand the love, respect and reverence we’ve for our Holy Prophet (PBUH), respect and love for him is paramount, don’t ridicule him, don’t mock him, don’t insult him.”
The Prime Minister maintained that insult, mocking, and ridiculing our Holy Prophet (PBUH) gives us Muslims pain, therefore every human community must define what gives them pain.