Dawn Punjab

‘How can we check’, asks Imran Khan on Taliban crossing Pak-Afgha

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 30 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said most of the refugees who came to his country from Afghanistan “sympathize” with the Taliban and there is no way of knowing who backs the terrorist group among the 30,000 daily commuters, The Express Tribune reported.

While speaking to a group of Afghan journalists in Islamabad on Thursday, Khan said, “…Pakistan has no way of knowing who is supporting the Taliban or not.”

Answering questions about the bodies of Taliban returning to Pakistan, Imran Khan claimed that there were about three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and “almost all of them were Pashtuns”. “Most of them, if not all, sympathise with the Taliban,” he added. “How can we check (as to who was going to fight) when 25,000 to 30,000 of Afghans travel to and from Afghanistan every day.”

Khan also stated that there were camps in Pakistan where up to 100,000 to 50,000 refugees lived. “How can we go to these camps and find out how many of them support the Taliban?”

Despite ample evidence that suggests the contrary, Pakistan PM also stated that his country was neither “responsible” for the actions of the Taliban. “What the Taliban are doing or are not doing has nothing to do with us. We are neither responsible, nor the spokesperson for the Taliban.”

These remarks came a few days after Pakistan PM in an interview with a US network said the Taliban are “not some military outfits but normal civilians”. How Pakistan is supposed to hunt them down when it has three million Afghan refugees at the border, Khan had asked.

“Now, there are camps of 500,000 people; there are camps of 100,000 people. And Taliban are not some military outfits, they are normal civilians. And if there are some civilians in these camps, how is Pakistan supposed to hunt these people down? How can you call them sanctuaries?” he argued in an interview with PBS NewsHour aired Tuesday night.

Earlier, Pakistan had announced that the fencing work along the Afghan border would be completed by August 14 amid fears of a new refugee crisis due to the large-scale violence in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has already ruled out taking any more refugees due to the ongoing refugee crisis at the Afghan border. Meanwhile, UN has said it is witnessing “very intensive movements” of internally displaced Afghans towards the country’s borders as violence escalates. (ANI)

Dawn Punjab
Author: Dawn Punjab

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