A Taliban spokesperson has lashed out at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, describing him as a ‘puppet who was ‘not elected by the people of Pakistan’.
The spokesperson in an interview urged Pakistan not to interfere in Afghanistan’s affairs, the Friday Times reported.
“Imran Khan is also called ‘selected’ and a ‘puppet’. We don’t want anyone to interfere in our affairs, just like we don’t in other countries’ affairs,” the Taliban spokesperson said, Naya Daur Media tweeted.
Earlier, in an interview on Wednesday, Imran Khan had said that Afghanistan cannot sustain with a ‘puppet’ government.
Responding to Khan, the Taliban spokesman said in the interview, “You are talking about Imran Khan, that he wants an inclusive government in Afghanistan? Pakistan is itself in deep trouble and facing many difficulties. Imran Khan himself has not been elected, he has not become prime minister with the consent of the Pakistani nation,” Friday Times reported.
The spokesman said, “In Pakistan, the people are saying that the current government is the puppet of Pakistan Army. The overall fundamental rights of major and minor ethnicities of Pakistan are not being given. All ethnicities of Pakistan are not happy with the current government. That’s why they call it a puppet government of the army.”
“And to a large extent, they are right, as this is a reality. But still, as an Afghan, I have no right to call Imran Khan a puppet,” he said.
“Or that I start interfering in their government affairs or start saying that I don’t like this Pakistani government. The same we want from others, to stop saying that they don’t like this Afghan government and want an inclusive government”, the report said.
The spokesman said, “No one should say anything about our system of government, that it is the mullah’s government or an extremist government or a government of people wearing turbans.”
The spokesman said the Taliban “don’t accept any foreign interference” in their system of government.
“Everyone should focus on their own country, and should work for the solution of the problems their people are facing. There are so many problems in Pakistan, but we have never talk about them and neither have we given any suggestions to Pakistan for these problems, because we respect their sovereignty. We want the same respect from Pakistan,” he said, as per the report.
The spokesman also made a veiled threat in the interview.
“Those who respect us and don’t want the Afghan soil to be used against them, it will not be used against them. For those who want to interfere with our soil, we also have the right to interfere in theirs,” he said, as per the report.
(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.email@example.com)