Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that his country will not take military action against the Taliban if the group takes over Afghanistan by force.
Quoted in an article by The New York Times, Khan said that “Pakistan will only recognize a government which is chosen by the people of Afghanistan, whichever government they choose.”
“Let me assure you, we will do everything except use military action against the Taliban,” Khan replied when asked what Pakistan would do if the Taliban took over Afghanistan by force. “I mean, we will do everything up to that. All sections of our society have decided that Pakistan will take no military action.”
“Now, we are fencing it, and almost 90 percent of the border, we’ve fenced now,” Khan said. “What if [the] Taliban try to take over Afghanistan through [the] military? Then we will seal the border because now we can, because we have fenced our border, which was previously [open], because Pakistan does not want to get into, number one, conflict, secondly, we do not want another influx of refugees.”
Khan said that after the US withdrawal, he wished that Pakistan and the US could fix their “lopsided” equation of the past.
The remarks come as violence remains high in the country following a sharp rise in the Taliban’s offensives against government forces. Afghan forces retook the control of seven districts from the Taliban in three provinces in the last 24 hours.
The districts include Andkhoi and Khan Chahar Bagh in Faryab, Khinjan and Doshi in Baghlan, and Ahmad Aba, Mirzaka and Sayed Karam in Paktia, according to the Defense Ministry.
At the same time, sources said that three districts -- Khost Firing and Guzargah-e-Noor in Baghlan and Dolina in Ghor -- have fallen to the Taliban on Thursday and Friday.
Heavy fighting is underway between government forces and the Taliban in several areas in the country, particularly in the northern provinces of Baghlan, Kunduz, Faryab, and Sar-e-Pul where hundreds of locals have taken up arms to fight against the group in support of Afghan troops.