Pakistan PM Imran Khan says Taliban “broke shackles of slavery” in Afghanistan
- Pakistan PM Imran Khan endorsed Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan
- Pakistan has said that it is open to a “negotiated political settlement” with Afghanistan
- Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on Sunday
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is “breaking the chains of slavery”. Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on Sunday following the resignation of President Ashraf Ghani who led the country’s US-backed civilian administration. Imran Khan’s endorsement of Taliban’s takeover does not come as a surprise as it has long been alleged that the Pakistani establishment, including both state and non-state actors, covertly support the Taliban.
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Imran Khan’s comments, televised on Pakistani media networks and available on social media, come at a time when large sections of the Afghan populace fear a return to hardline Sharia law that suppresses civil rights and rights of women to pursue an education or work or even take marital decisions.
Interestingly, the Pakistan Prime Minister focussed on English as medium of instruction in educational institutions while talking about Taliban’s conquest of Afghanistan. “You take over the other culture and become psychologically subservient. When that happens, please remember, it is worse than actual slavery. It is harder to throw off the chains of cultural enslavement. What is happening in Afghanistan now, they have broken the shackles of slavery.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi put up a post on Twitter saying that Pakistan was in favour of a negotiated political settlement with Taliban-run Afghanistan.
Imran Khan’s anti-colonial platitudes come at a time when the United States is withdrawing troops from the war-torn country which has been thrown into chaos with people crowding the Kabul airport, the only way out of Afghanistan right now, in a bid to escape Taliban rule.
US’ two-decade-long efforts to keep the Taliban away from power in Afghanistan and ensure democratic governance became undone over the last 10 days. The astonishingly quick collapse of the civilian administration in the face of Taliban’s onslaught has become a cause for worry for Afghanistan’s neighbours as well as the world at large.
On Monday, people jostled to find place in flights leaving Kabul airport and shots were fired. Five people have been killed at the airport, according a report by Reuters.