Pakistan must not interfere in Afghan affairs: Karzai

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Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Sunday attacked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for his remarks about Afghan politics and the threat of Daesh attacks and asked him not to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

Karzai, in response to Pakistan PM Khan’s remarks at the OIC summit, said Pakistan “should not intervene in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and should avoid speaking on behalf of Afghanistan at international forums.”

At the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting on Afghanistan, Imran Khan claimed several Daesh attacks had been launched from Afghanistan’s border into Pakistan.

Khan said the ISIS threatens Pakistan from Afghanistan, adding that stability in Afghanistan is necessary. “We have had attacks from (the) Afghan border, from ISIL, into Pakistan,” he said.

Karzai in reaction said these allegations are not true. He said Daesh from the beginning has been threatening Afghanistan from Pakistan, and not the other way around.

“These remarks are not true, and are obvious propaganda against Afghanistan,” Karzai said in a statement. “In fact, from the beginning, Afghanistan has been facing Daesh’s threat from Pakistan,” Tolo News reported.

Imran Khan also said that due to years of corruption in the Afghan government, poverty was widespread in Afghanistan even before the former government’s collapse.

“Even before 15th of August, half the population was below the poverty line, years of corrupt governance, 75 percent of the budget was supported by foreign aid. Now a country in that situation, after 15th of August, if the foreign aid dries up, the foreign funds get frozen, banking system freezes, any country is going to collapse, let alone Afghanistan which suffered for the past 40 years,” Khan said.

Regarding the human rights issues which the international community has set as a condition for recognition of the Islamic Emirate, Khan told the OIC that differences between cultures in different parts of the country must be understood before promoting new values.

“The city culture is completely different from the rural culture. Culture in Kabul was always different to rural areas. Just like in Peshawar, it is completely different, the culture, to the district adjoining the Afghanistan border,” he said.

 

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Reacting to Khan’s remarks, especially his point about corruption in Afghanistan in which Karzai served as a president for two terms and an interim period, Karzai said the Pakistan government must stop interfering in Afghanistan’s affairs and stop talking on behalf of Afghanistan at international gatherings. Karzai also said such remarks insult the people of Afghanistan.

“Pakistan’s government should not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and should avoid speaking on behalf of Afghanistan in international forums,” Karzai said.

Imran Khan also said: “Any government that cannot pay the salaries of its civil servants, it is going to collapse,” referring to the current economic challenges in Afghanistan.

Karzai’s remarks on Pakistan come as India and the five Central Asian nations in a joint statement at the Third India-Central Asia Dialogue on Sunday “stressed on the territorial integrity of Afghanistan and non-interference in its internal affairs”.

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