Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said the best way forward for peace and stability in Afghanistan is to engage with the Taliban and “incentivize” them on issues such as women’s rights and inclusive government.
Speaking to CNN from his private Bani Gala residence in Islamabad on Wednesday, Khan spoke about enduring what he perceived as a “terrible” relationship with the United States that has been disastrous for Pakistan and how he is now seeking a more pragmatic approach in dealing with Afghanistan’s new leaders.
It was the Prime Minister’s first interview with an international news organization since the Taliban took control of neighboring Afghanistan last month, following the complete US withdrawal of troops.
“The Taliban hold all of Afghanistan and if they can sort of now work towards an inclusive government, get all the factions together, Afghanistan could have peace after 40 years. But if it goes wrong and which is what we are really worried about, it could go to chaos. The biggest humanitarian crisis, a huge refugee problem,” Khan said.
Khan claimed that the Taliban are looking for international aid to avoid a crisis, which could be used to push the group in “the right direction towards legitimacy.” However he warned that Afghanistan could not be controlled by outside forces.