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Afghanistan strongly reacts to Imran Khan interim government’s comment

KABUL: Afghanistan has strongly reacted to the reported remarks by Prime Minister Imran Khan that suggested that Kabul should set up an interim government and recalled it ambassador to Pakistan.

Kabul termed Imran Khan comments “irresponsible”.

The premier had told journalists on Monday that forming an interim Afghan government would smooth peace talks between the United States and Taliban officials since the militant group refuses to speak to the current government.

The Afghan government was a hurdle in (the) peace process that was insisting that Taliban should talk to it, Prime Minister Khan was quoted as saying.

He also said he had cancelled a scheduled meeting with Taliban leaders because of objections by the Afghan government.

Afghanistan summoned Pakistan’s deputy ambassador to discuss the “irresponsible” remarks by Prime Minister Khan, said Afghan foreign affairs ministry spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi in a series of tweets on Tuesday. A statement issued by the Afghan embassy confirmed the development.

Ahmedi said that the Afghan government deemed Khan’s statements as “an obvious example of Pakistan’s interventional policy and disrespect to the national sovereignty and determination of the people of Afghanistan.

In a tweet, US Special Envoy for Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad also appeared to criticise the prime minister’s reported comments.

He said “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.”

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