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Kabul Summons Pakistani Diplomat Over Imran Khan’s Remarks

17 Mar 2019 Tolo News

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Saturday summoned a senior official from Pakistani Embassy in Kabul over “new government” remarks by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the MoFA spokesman Sebghat Ahmadi confirmed.

He said the Afghan government shared its serious criticism with the Pakistani diplomat and has called the remarks “interference in internal affairs of Afghanistan”.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan summoned the counsellor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Kabul over the recent remarks by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan,” said Ahmadi. “We shared our serious criticism with Pakistani side. The Afghan government considers these remarks as clear and evident interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.”

This comes as Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday that peace in Afghanistan is “around the corner,” referring to the efforts by the United States for a political settlement to the conflict in the country.

“Negotiations have been initiated with the Taliban. God willing, our brothers in Afghanistan would live together in peace in coming days,” Khan told a big public gathering in northwestern Bajaur tribal district on the Afghan border, according to a report by the VOA.

Without elaborating further, Khan asserted the peace process would result in stability, trade and economic prosperity for the region, and particularly for Afghanistan to enable the war-shattered country stand on its own feet, VOA said in the report.

“A good government will be established in Afghanistan, a government where all Afghans will be represented. The war will end and peace will be established there,” Khan said as quoted in the VOA report.

This comes after the US Department of State said on Wednesday that the Taliban in talks with the US negotiators made meaningful progress in Qatar talks.

We’ve received reports back from Special Representative Khalilzad that they’ve had meaningful progress,” Robert Palladino, the State Department’s deputy spokesperson, told reporters at a daily briefing in Washington on Tuesday.

He said that in the fresh round of talks, the two sides were able to move to agreement in draft on the first two principles.

“In this round of talks, we were able to move to agreement in draft on the first two principles, counterterrorism assurances and troop withdrawal. And when that agreement in draft is finalized, Taliban and an inclusive Afghan negotiating team that includes the Afghan government and other Afghans to begin intra-Afghan negotiation for a political settlement and a comprehensive ceasefire,” he added.

Hours after the news broke on Qatar talks, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said in a tweet that he wrapped up a marathon round of talks with Taliban in Doha.

Khalilzad said peace requires agreement on four issues: counterterrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire.

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