Afghan Envoy to Return to Islamabad After Pakistan’s Explanations – Ministry

The Afghan Ambassador will return to Islamabad after Pakistani Premier Minister Imran Khan renounced his suggestion that Afghanistan establish an interim government, Afghan Foreign Ministry Spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi said on Thursday.

“After clarifications provided by the PAK Foreign Ministry and PM Imran Khan’s retreat from his previous remarks and discussion on the two countries’ relations; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the I.R. AFG decided that Amb Atif Mashal return to Islamabad to continue his mission,” Ahmadi tweeted.

Earlier, Khan said that the Afghan government was hindering its peace talks with the Taliban movement and suggested that Kabul establish an interim government to find a way out of the current deadlock. The Afghan Foreign Ministry, in turn, called Khan’s statements “irresponsible remarks” and said that they showed “disrespect to the national sovereignty and determination of the people of Afghanistan.”

Commenting on the issue, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said that Khan’s remark on Afghanistan had been reported out of context in the media, leading to misinterpretation and unwarranted reaction. In his statement the Pakistani PM referred to the Afghan political system that requires an election to be carried out under an interim government, the ministry stressed in its press release.

On March 22, Pakistani Ambassador to Russia Qazi Mohammad Khalilullah said that his country was helping Kabul with everything it could amid the ongoing military conflict in Afghanistan. He also stated that Pakistan supports US measures aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan. Sustainability in Afghanistan is a common responsibility, although Kabul should hold the settlement process in its own hands, the Ambassador said.