Pakistan to continue supporting global efforts for a peaceful, stable Afghanistan: PM Kakar

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ISLAMABAD, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Thursday reiterated that it was upto the Afghan people and their leadership to decide their future and Pakistan as a brotherly and neighbourly country would continue supporting all global efforts for a politically and economically stable Afghanistan.

He said that he did not regard Afghanistan or the Afghan people as any threat to Pakistan. Afghans had their own culture and land, tied with different countries due to various affinities and Pakistan expected that no threat or harm should emanate from their soil.

Pakistan, he said, had very explicitly conveyed its concerns to the Taliban interim government regarding terrorist elements’ presence and their involvement in terrorist acts and they had realization of it.

He was responding to different questions in a private Tv (Khyber News) talk show programme ‘Maraka’ – Pashtu acronym for dialogue.

The caretaker prime minister said that Afghans had undergone hard times in four or five decades, they had witnessed different Afghan factions fighting with each other and the invasion of foreign forces.

He said Afghanistan enjoyed a significant position in the region and as a neighbour, Pakistan wished to enhance that importance by supporting all global efforts for political and economic stability there.

To a question, he said after Swat and Zarb-e-Azb operations, the banned TTP terrorist elements went to Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Kakar said that it was an unsuitable move by the previous set-up to hold negotiations with the TTP, adding that the Constitution of Pakistan was very clear in that regard and anyone who preferred armed insurgency, would be regarded as ‘Takfiri’ as Ulema had pronounced.

He reiterated that the state would not negotiate with such groups.

About Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman’s visit to Afghanistan, the prime minister said it was his private visit and he would not comment over it.

He further said that as a friend and brother, they could give Afghans suggestions and shared opinions, but it was up to them to take make their own decisions.

“What we expect from them is that no harm or threats to Pakistan should emanate from their soil,” he added.

“There are huge opportunities which can serve as a win-win situation for all,” he said, adding that mega-regional connectivity projects like the tans-railway line, TAPI and other projects, would equally benefit both countries and the entire region.

About the repatriation of illegal Afghans, he said that there was no other solution and ‘one document regime was final’.

To another question, he said during their interim government’s short tenure, they had tried to steer the country out of different challenges, particularly the economic woes.

He said when they took reigns of the government, it was a difficult task as the country was facing different pressures due to its geographical location.

“Of most, the economic challenge was a complex and difficult,” he shared and mentioned issues related to Afghan Transit trade and depletion of foreign exchange reserves.

However, he said that they were successful by turning things around owing to the institutional support and expressed satisfaction that their efforts yielded very good outcomes as the country was now heading towards the right destination.

The caretaker prime minister said that they were assisting the Election Commission to hold elections in the country.

He said that international observers and foreign media would monitor the elections and would report it, adding that as a transitional democracy, there might be shortcomings, but the system would be strengthened with the passage of time.

The basic responsibility of the caretaker setup was to ensure free, fair and transparent polls so that people should elect their government, he added.

Responding to a query about a political party, he said that those appeared to be administrative issues and categorically maintained that the interim government had not given any instruction over any party, moreover, the ECP and the judiciary were working and anyone who had complaints could approach them.

The prime minister said that he had already conveyed his feelings and thoughts about the law-and-order situation in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces and stood by his words.

He said there were conspiracy theories over the law and order situation by linking it to delaying the elections.

He also expressed his dismay that a set of people even did not make a difference between the job of a prime minister and that of a district-level and provincial-level responsibilities.

Replying to a query, he said Pakistan had never troubled Iran and the missile attack initially shocked them and they conveyed their feelings to the Iranian side, which was followed by a swift response.

Now, he said, Pakistan hoped the bilateral mechanism between the two countries would be restored.

The caretaker prime minister declared that whenever there was any attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty, it would be given a swift response.

He maintained that educational institutions like universities were good fora for holding healthy debates.

The prime minister, responding to a question, said that he was vehemently criticized on social media, but they were tolerant and created space for dialogue.

Expressing disapproval over use of foul language, he said that concerns could be conveyed in decent words and not in an abusive manner.

He opined that a hysteria-like feelings had permeated in the society, and it would take time to return to normality.