ISLAMABAD: Interim Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar Sunday said Kabul negotiations staged two years back were a total farce as the TTP people were a part of the negotiations. It rests with the Afghan government whether to take action against the TTP people or hand them over to Pakistan.
He said this in an exclusive interview with Geo News programme Jirga.
“Taliban know it well from where TTP terrorists are launching attacks into Pakistan. The terrorist outfit is not operating in the Central Asian States but firmly anchored in Afghanistan. It is simply intolerable if they undertake terror activities in Pakistan and the Taliban watch all this like a silent spectator. They shouldn’t expect no action from Pakistan if terror attacks are launched into its territory,” said the premier.
“The TTP wants the entire Pakistan to follow their style of living but our stance is that we want to live our own lives. So, there can only be one home here… whether theirs or ours. Those who want to engage in serious talks with us should first drop their weapons because taking up weapons against the state of Pakistan has no justification at all,” he said.
He said Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Muneer had also made it clear on many an occasion that the life of a Pakistan citizen took the foremost priority and that no terrorist group will be allowed to operate in Pakistan.
“Our security forces undertake operations in Tank, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and different areas of Balochistan on a daily basis. We always talked about negotiations but the situation in here is altogether different,” said the premier.
To a question about the rising tensions between Islamabad and Kabul, he said: “My prime role is as a citizen of Pakistan and my loyalty is connected with the state.”
Stressing the need for action against the terrorists, the prime minister said the Afghan government knew about the hideouts of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the war-torn country.
He also clarified that talks could not be held at gunpoint. He went on to say that there is an appropriate time for holding dialogue and use of force.
Speaking about the government’s crackdown against illegal foreigners as the deadline was over on November 1, PM Kakar said tough decisions had to be taken to run the state affairs.
The government, he said, was not repatriating registered Afghan refugees and only undocumented Afghan citizens were being deported.
“We have adopted a better attitude towards the Afghan citizens,” the premier further said, asking illegal residents to return to their respective countries.
Kakar said Pakistan’s policy of deportation was every inch in accordance with the law. He also said, “All Afghans are equally important for Pakistan,” adding, “Pakistan and Afghanistan should think honestly about what they expect from each other.”
He said the decisions with regard to the properties of aliens in Pakistan will be taken as per the law. If the law suggested seizure, their properties will be forfeited, he added.
Reacting to the recent allegations hurled at the caretaker government by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Interim Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar said the “victim card” could be a “narrative” of any political party.
As the general elections are drawing nearer, the PTI and PPP, the two mainstream opposition parties have repeatedly been complaining that they are being denied a level-playing field in the run-up to the polls and attempts are being made to pave the way for the return of PMLN into power.
They have also accused the caretaker government of giving a “preferential treatment” to the PMLN.
Bilawal complains that his party is being denied a level-playing field and equal opportunities to prove itself ahead of the polls.
On the other hand, amid reports of minus-Imran elections, the PTI has also accused the interim government of denying them a level-playing field.
The PTI chairman is behind the bars and the party’s leadership claims that they are not allowed to even run the election campaign.
In a bid to clear the air thick with allegations and gossiping, the caretaker prime minister said: “Holding the elections at the earliest is our utmost priority.”
He said the interim government wanted the people to elect their representatives by exercising their democratic rights in the Feb 8 general elections.
“We want to hand the responsibilities over to the [upcoming] elected government.”
Responding to a question about the allegations levelled against his government, Kakar asked, “What have we done that [a negative] impression is being given that we have a biased [attitude towards] any political party?” adding, “Did we imprison the former prime minister [Imran Khan]?”
He further clarified that the deposed prime minister was apprehended before the caretaker setup.
Imran was arrested from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore soon after being convicted in the Toshakhana case on August 5. However, Kakar — a former senator and a leader of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) — took oath as the country’s eighth caretaker prime minister on August 14.
The premier said Khan was legally arrested and was facing charges in the court.
“It would be impartiality if we had acquitted him [Khan] of all the charges via a royal decree.” The caretaker prime minister said they could not do so legally. “Think 10 times before hurling allegations,” he added.
“The PTI chairman is safe in jail,” the premier said, adding that it was their legal responsibility to ensure his safety.
“Nobody has personal enmity with the PTI chairman. The allegation that he is being poisoned is just rubbish carrying no foundation,” he said while rejecting the social reports claiming threats to his life.
To a question about relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Kakar said, “I’ll remain loyal to motherland. I am a Pashtun and will remain so, but being a Pashtun, culturally or socially, and living up to demands of an important office of the state is a different thing and it should remain so. We send a message of goodwill to all Afghans whether they are Pashtuns or Uzbeks.”
Asked as to why he had declared the Taliban government illegal, the caretaker premier clarified that he did not mean it and his objective was that there should be such a setup there that has the international recognition because the present setup did not enjoy international recognition.
PM Kakar said all general elections were disputed except for the for the 1970 polls. “We want to hand over the responsibilities to the [upcoming] elected government.”
Responding to a question, he also rejected the allegations that the caretaker government was seeking to “take personal revenge” from PTI chief Imran Khan.
Like other political parties, PTI leaders are engaged in electioneering in their respective areas in the run-up to the February 8 polls, he added.
Moreover, speaking about the Israeli relentless bombing of the besieged territory, the interim premier said: “Gaza has been made hell, especially for children”
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