The Pakistan government is not a spokesperson for the Taliban and Islamabad cannot be held responsible for the actions of the insurgent group in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of soldiers from the US and its allies, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said.
In his comments to Afghan media representatives that were aired on Thursday, Khan also said that Pakistan will have good relations with whoever the Afghans choose.
“What the Taliban are doing or aren’t doing has nothing to do with us. We are not responsible, neither are we spokespersons for the Taliban,” Khan was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
Khan’s remarks were a continuation of Pakistan’s repeated warnings that it would not accept the responsibility if it was blamed for any setbacks in the Afghan peace process.
Under a deal with the Taliban, the US and its NATO allies agreed to withdraw all troops in return for a commitment by the militants that they would prevent extremist groups from operating in areas they control. US President Joe Biden has announced that American troops will be out of the country by August 31.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan by brute force from 1996 to 2001 when the US invasion toppled their government.