Imran Khan evades question on Taliban, blames RSS ideology for no talks with India
- As the Taliban fighters are rapidly making advances in Afghanistan and capturing new territories every passing day, the role of Pakistan pertaining to regional security has become a cause of concern.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has become the impediment to peaceful coexistence with India. Khan was responding to a question on whether “talks and terror can go hand in hand”.
"We can tell India that we [Pakistan] have been waiting for a long time to coexist as civilised neighbours...but what to do? the ideology of RSS has come in between," said Khan, while evading a question on whether Pakistan has no control over the Taliban anymore.
Khan was in Tashkent for the Central-South Asia conference to discuss the “challenges and opportunities in Uzbekistan.” About 250 participants and 40 delegates from different countries are supposed to take part in the two-day conference. External affairs minister S Jaishankar is also in Tashkent for the high-level meeting.
As the Taliban fighters are rapidly making advances in Afghanistan and capturing new territories every passing day, the role of Pakistan pertaining to regional security has become a cause of worry. On Thursday, Afghanistan vice president Amrullah Saleh accused Pakistan Air Force of providing air support to the Taliban militants in the border areas of Chaman and Spin Boldak, a claim rejected by Islamabad.
"Pakistan air force has issued (an) official warning to the Afghan Army and Air Force that any move to dislodge the Taliban from Spin Boldak area will be faced and repelled by the Pakistan Air Force. Pak air force is now providing close air support to Taliban in certain areas," Saleh tweeted.
Responding to the accusation, Pakistan foreign office said in a statement that such statements undermine their “sincere efforts” to play their part in the peace talks. Last week, the Pakistani military said that Islamabad is a facilitator of the Afghan peace process and not a guarantor. "Of course other stakeholders have been a part of this, but Pakistan has played a key role," said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director-general Babar Iftikhar in an interview with ARY News.