In reaction to a recent statement by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan who proposed the establishment of an interim government in Afghanistan, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday said that it is only the Afghan people who determine the future of their country, but not an outsider.
On Monday, Khan proposed the idea for the formation of an interim setup in Afghanistan which he believes that was the only solution to break an apparent solution in the ongoing peace process, while blaming the government in Kabul to have been a main obstacle on the way of peace process.
“We welcome all efforts towards peace in Afghanistan, but will never allow any country to subvert the right of self-determination of our people or undermine our sovereignty under the pretext of facilitating peace negotiations,” said Abdullah.
Abdullah said that Afghanistan does not expect any neighboring country to influence Afghanistan.
But the Pakistani foreign ministry in a statement on Wednesday said that Khan’s comments on the creation of interim setup in Afghanistan have been reported out of context in the media.
"In his comments, the PM had referred to Pakistan’s model where elections are held under an interim government. The comments should not be misinterpreted to imply interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs," the statement said.
Fresh waves of tensions grip Afghanistan and Pakistan at a time that President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to reach to a final conclusion with the Taliban on the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.
“I want to be very clear that the so-called “interim government” provides solution to nothing in Afghanistan. Our route to peace and stability must pass through elections. Intra-Afghan talks in which government engagement is a must for peace in the country, but the Taliban has shown no genuine interest in such negotiations,” said Abdullah.
In protest to Khan’s comments, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday summoned the Deputy Ambassador of Pakistan to Kabul, Shahbaz Hussain, over the recent “irresponsible” remarks by Khan on an interim setup in Afghanistan to break the deadlock of peace in the country.
“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.
Meanwhile, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad has said that it is only the Afghans who will define their future.
“While Pakistan has made constructive contributions on the Afghan peace process, PM Khan's comments did not. The future of Afghanistan is for Afghans, and only Afghans, to decide. The role of the international community is to encourage Afghans to come together so they can do so,” Khalilzad said in a tweet on Tuesday.
US ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass also reacted to Khan’s comments.
“Some aspects of cricket apply well in diplomacy, some do not. Imran Khan important to resist temptation to ball-tamper with the Afghanistan peace process and its internal affairs,” Bass tweeted.
“Our goal is a settlement to the conflict that is worthy of the sacrifices made by so many Afghans, a settlement that protects and preserves many of the gains of the last 17 years. Afghans want to move forward and build on progress they have already made,” Bass said.
In addition, the US State Department's deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said that Pakistan can play a more constructive role towards finding a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan and this what the US expects from Pakistan.
“Pakistan could play an important role bringing about negotiated settlement in Afghanistan,” said Palladino.
Over the past five years, relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been marred by major ups and downs with the Afghan officials sometimes branded the Taliban as slave for Pakistan while sometimes they said peace in Afghanistan without a support by Pakistan will not succeed.