Afghanistan recalls ambassador to Pakistan after PM Imran's remarks on peace process

12:23 AM | 27 Mar, 2019
Afghanistan recalls ambassador to Pakistan after PM Imran's remarks on peace process

KABUL - Afghanistan has recalled its ambassador to Pakistan over recent remarks by Prime Minister Imran Khan about the future of power-sharing in the war-battered country, that irked the Kabul administration.

Imran Khan had suggested that Kabul should set up an interim government to smooth peace talks between Taliban and the Trump administration, citing the refusal of militant groups to talk directly with the sitting regime.

The Afghan government was a hurdle in (the) peace process as it was insisting Taliban to talk to it, Prime Minister Khan was quoted as saying during an interaction with journalists on Monday.

The premier also said he had canceled a scheduled meeting with Taliban leaders because of objections by the Afghan government, however, Afghanistan expressed displeasure over the commentary and termed the remarks 'irresponsible'.

Afghanistan also summoned Pakistan's deputy ambassador to seek clarification over the PM Khan's commentary.

Afghan foreign affairs ministry spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi took to Twitter on Tuesday and expressed annoyance at the comments passed by Imran Khan.

The Trump administration and Taliban officials have held talks to end the 17-year war, but the Taliban consider the Ashraf Ghani-led Afghan government as illegitimate.

Soon after the comments by Afghan official, US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad also took to Twitter and criticized the comments made by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The future of #Afghanistan is for #Afghans, and only Afghans, to decide. The role of the international community is to encourage Afghans to come together so they can do so, he stated.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan 17 years ago and the war with the Taliban has since killed nearly 150,000 people, including Afghan civilians, security forces, insurgents and more than 2,400 American soldiers, according to an American University study released recently.

The longest war effort in US history has also cost Washington nearly one trillion dollars and all the parties central to the war are now dropping hints to end the conflict.