News|Imran Khan
Pakistan’s Khan fears ‘civil war’ if no peace deal in Afghanistan
In an interview to Axios, Imran Khan also rules out the possibility of Pakistan allowing its territory to be used for US military bases.
Pakistan's PM Imran Khan was speaking in an interview to the US news platform, Axios, that was aired late on Sunday [File: Saiyna Bashir/Reuters]
21 Jun 2021
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on the United States to find a political settlement to its war in Afghanistan before withdrawing from the country, as he ruled out hosting any US military bases to be used against other countries.
Khan was speaking in an interview to US news platform Axios that was aired late on Sunday.
‘Betrayed’: The Afghan interpreters abandoned by the US
‘Hero’ family that rushed to aid Pakistan train collision victims
Outrage after Pakistan’s Imran Khan links rape to how women dress
How children are paying the price in Pakistan’s mass HIV outbreak
“The Americans, before they leave, there must be a settlement,” he said, referring to a September 11 deadline set by the US government for its troops to withdraw from Pakistan’s northwestern neighbour.
“A political settlement in Afghanistan would mean a sort of coalition government. A government from the Taliban side and the other side. There is no other solution.”
The US withdrawal is part of a 2020 peace agreement between the US and the Taliban, which continues to fight Afghan government forces across the country.
As violence surges across the war-torn country, US President Joe Biden is due to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and peace chief Abdullah Abdullah on Friday to discuss the situation.
In the interview on Sunday, Khan said he feared that a “civil war” could follow the planned US troop withdrawal.
“In case the Taliban go for an all-out victory, there is going to be an incredible amount of bloodshed and, let me tell you, the country that is going to suffer the most after Afghanistan is going to be Pakistan,” he said.
Khan also ruled out the possibility of Pakistan allowing its territory to be used for US military bases that could support Afghan forces.
“There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan,” he said. “Absolutely not.”
“We will be partners in peace, not in conflict,” he said.
Under the Obama administration’s ramped-up drone war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Pakistan had secretly allowed the US to operate drones both over Pakistani territory and from at least one base in the southwest of the country.
In 2011, leaked US diplomatic cables showed that Pakistan had provided tacit approval for the use of US drone attacks on Pakistani soil, even while publicly condemning them.
On Kashmir, Uighurs and women
In his wide-ranging interview on Sunday, Pakistani PM Khan also repeated his call for the US to mediate between India and Pakistan, both countries that are nuclear-armed, in the Kashmir dispute.
“If the Americans have the resolve, the will, this can be sorted out,” he said.
Responding to a question, Khan said he was “completely against” nuclear arms, and that Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine was “simply as a deterrent, to protect ourselves”.
.​@jonathanvswan presses Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on why he’s outspoken against Islamophobia in the West but silent about the genocide of Muslim Uyghurs in western China.
Khan: I concentrate on what is happening on my border.
Swan: This is on your border. #AxiosOnHBO​
— Axios (@axios) June 20, 2021
Khan, who has championed the cause of fighting Islamophobia in the West, was also asked why he has not spoken publicly regarding alleged human rights abuses against ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim-majority population, in China.
Khan repeated Pakistan’s stance that its discussions with China, a close strategic ally that has invested heavily in the South Asian country, on these issues remain “behind closed doors”.
Asked to clarify earlier comments on his views on how and why sexual violence occurs, Khan said he believed that “temptation” plays a role in causing sexual violence against women in Pakistan.
“If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men, unless they are robots,” he said while outlining what his government is doing to fight against such violence.
Pakistan asks Taliban to ‘remain engaged’ in Afghan peace process
Islamabad urges Taliban to stay engaged after group said it would shun Afghan summits until all foreign forces leave.
20 Apr 2021
Afghan President Ghani to meet Biden as violence surges
US president to discuss troop withdrawal with his Afghan counterpart amid a surge in fighting across Afghanistan.
20 Jun 2021
Afghan deminers to ‘continue to save lives’ despite deadly attack
HALO Trust, whose 10 demining workers were killed last week, says will stay in the country after foreign troops leave.
16 Jun 2021
China policies ‘could cut millions of Uighur births in Xinjiang’
Amid accusations of genocide, new report says China’s policies could cut up to 4.5 million births in Xinjiang.
7 Jun 2021
COVID booster use may be expanded, US health officials say
United Russia ahead as polls close in parliamentary elections
Taliban leader seeks foreign assistance for displaced Afghans
Pakistan rules out New Zealand boycott in T20 Cricket World Cup
Explainer: Why is a submarine deal sparking a diplomatic crisis?
China’s Xi warns of ‘interference’ as Australia brushes off anger
Infographic: All you need to know about the Canadian election
What Iran’s membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation means
Our Channels
Our Network
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2021 Al Jazeera Media Network