Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that “selective declarations” on human rights were “immoral”, reacting to allegations against Pakistan’s all-time ally China’s human rights violations against its Muslim Uyghur population in the troubled Xinjiang province.
In a broad interview with London-based online media Middle East Eye (MEE), Khan denied pressure from Gulf countries to recognize Israel and said the failure of the international community to engage with it. the Taliban in Afghanistan could push back the state within 20 years, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.
Khan described the 70-year-old relationship between Pakistan and China as having “stood the test of time.”
In the interview with, Mr. Khan said that “the selective statements on human rights” were immoral, reacting to the claim on China.
He said Pakistan had spoken to China about the Uyghur issue and had received an explanation. “Our relationship with China is such that we have an understanding between us. We will talk to each other, but behind closed doors because it is their nature and their culture,” he said.
The US and UK have criticized China for its alleged treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, with some senior officials going so far as to call it “genocide.” Beijing is accused of enforcing forced labor, systematic birth control, torture and separation of children from incarcerated Muslim minority parents in the resource-rich province.
Khan said there was a need for the international community to engage with the Taliban and failure to do so could set the group back 20 years.
Taliban militants declared full control of Afghanistan on September 6 after the last opposition post in Panjshir fell. Since then, the group has sought international recognition for its “government”.
“The world must engage with Afghanistan,” he said, warning of the consequences of not doing so.
“There must be extremists within the group [and] it can easily be traced back to the Taliban 20 years ago. And that would be a disaster. “
He said that if Afghanistan fell into chaos again, it would become fertile ground for terrorist groups like ISIS, which is a concern for all countries in the region.
He said isolating and imposing sanctions on Afghanistan would lead to a massive humanitarian crisis.
“If they are left like this, my worry is that [Afghanistan] could go back to 1989 when the Soviets and Americans left, ”he said, adding that more than 200,000 Afghans have died in this conflict.
Khan added that the United States had to “pull itself together” after the shock it suffered following the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan.
“I don’t think they have found their feet yet,” he said, adding that Pakistan would also suffer from the chaos in Afghanistan.
Asked about Pakistan’s view after the Taliban takeover, the prime minister said: “We were so relieved because we expected a bloodbath. […] it was a peaceful transfer of power “.
Likewise, on the issue of women’s rights, he said the Taliban should be encouraged to “lead by example,” noting that the group had said it would allow women to work and learn.
Asked about the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) posing a threat to his administration, Khan said the Pakhtuns on the Pakistani side of the border began to attack the state when it allied in the invasion of Afghanistan.
“They called us collaborators, started attacking us and calling themselves the Pakistani Taliban, which we didn’t have before joining the alliance. At one point there were 50 different groups calling themselves the taliban [and] attack us ”, declared the Prime Minister.
He added that this movement and its motivation died out once the American footprint diminished and Pakistan ceased to be a collaborator.
“I believe that all insurgencies end up on the dialogue table,” he said.
When asked if he would allow US bases in Pakistan for actions against ISIS, the prime minister said: “I think they don’t need a base here because we don’t want to participate more in the conflict “.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)
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