ISLAMABAD, Aug 12 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan would use its influence on Taliban for holding direct talks with Turkey to secure the Kabul International Airport as the U.S. troops are set to exit the conflict-hit country by August 31.
“We will be trying the best thing for Turkey and Taliban to have a face-to-face dialogue, so that both could talk about the reasons to secure the Kabul airport,” he said in an interaction with journalists, here at the PM House.
He was responding to a question by a reporter about the government’s position after Turkey had proposed a new joint mission involving itself, Pakistan and Hungary to protect the Kabul International Airport.
The prime minister mentioned his meeting with Turkish defence minister retired General Hulusi Akar on Wednesday, which also discussed the security situation in the region including Afghanistan.
“We will also talk to the Taliban and use our influence [for a meeting with Turkish government],” he said.
Imran Khan said the Afghan government was getting extremely critical about Pakistan, considering that it had “some magic powers” to persuade the Taliban.
He said in fact, persuading the Taliban had become more difficult.
“Now, our leverage on the Taliban is miniscule as they think that they have won against the Americans,” he said.
The pointed out that the ‘kleptocratic’ government of Afghanistan had made Pakistan a scapegoat for all its misgovernance done in past years.
He said the Afghan government was trying everything to get the United States back and intervene in the current situation.
Asked about Pakistan’s stance on Taliban demanding Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to step down, he stressed the need for a “ceasefire at all costs”, adding that the “Doha talks would decide the middle ground for a compromise” between the stakeholders.
Pakistan, he said, would deal with any government in Afghanistan, “elected or selected”, by its people.
“An inclusive government would be the best. But if the Taliban do a forceful military takeover, the result will be a civil war and a nightmare for Pakistan,” he added.
The prime minister said Pakistan was “worried” about the law and order situation in Afghanistan because any civil war could result in a direct impact on it in the shape of an influx of refugees.
To a question on China’s future role in Afghanistan, he said China being an emerging power and a neighbour would have its part in the rebuilding of the war-torn country.