Pakistani Imran Khan says world should give Taliban ‘time’ on human rights but fears ‘chaos’ without help

In conversation met CNN from his private Bani Gala Residence in Islamabad on Khan . spoke on Wednesday over enduring what he considered a “terrible” relationship with the United States die have been disastrous for Pakistan and how he is now looking for a more pragmatic approach in intercourse with Afghanistan’s new leaders.

It belonged to the Prime Minister first interview with An international news organization since the Taliban took check of neighboring Afghanistan last month following the complete withdrawal from the US of troops.

“The Taliban have everything in hands” of Afghanistan and of they can sort of now work to an inclusive government, bring all factions together, Afghanistan could have peace after 40 years. But if it goes wrong and where we really care over can lead to chaos. The biggest humanitarian crisis, a huge refugee problem’ said Khan.

Khan claimed that the Taliban are looking for for international help to avoid a crisis, die can be used to group in “the right direction to legitimacy.” However, he warned that Afghanistan could not be controlled by: outside forces.

“Not a puppet” government in Afghanistan is supported by the people’, he said. ‘So in instead of sitting here and thinking we can control them, we have… should encourage them. Because Afghanistan, this current government, clearly feels that without international help and help, they will not be able to stop this crisis. So we should push them in the right direction.”

Even before the return of the Taliban to power, protracted conflicts, poverty, back-until-back droughts, economic decline and the coronavirus pandemic had worsened and already difficult situation in of which 18 million Afghans — almost half of the population — goods in need of aid, according to United Nations agencies.

Until critics who saying the Taliban will destabilize the country, Khan pointed out the withdrawal of the Soviets in 1989, which resulted in in a “bloodbath”. Khan said he expected a similar massacre after US forces left.

“Our intelligence services told… us die the Taliban couldn’t take over all of Afghanistan, and if they tried Afghanistan militarily in there would be a protracted civil war, and we feared it of because we are the ones who would suffer the most,” said Khan. Now, he said, the… world should “give she time” to a legitimate government and make good on their promises.

CNN's Becky Anderson interviewed Imran Khan on Wednesday.

Women in government

since the assumption that power, the militant group tried to polish it international references, with pledges to uphold human rights, in the special met related to: women and girls, and allow journalists to continue with their work.

However, women have been left out of the Taliban hard-rule interim government, have been ordered to stay home in some areas, and their training is limited. protests against Taliban rule and for civil rights are met violence suppressed, with reports of journalists are arrested and severely beaten.

“It is a mistake to think that someone from outside shall give Afghan women rights. Afghan women are strong. Give them time. They will get their rights,” Khan said.

“Women should have the ability in a society to fulfill their potential in life,” said Khan. “What we in Pakistan has done is that we actually paid allowances to poor families to let the girls study in school because we think that if the girls, if the girl studies, if they have education, they will have their own rights,” he said.

However, many in the international community are not hopeful that the Taliban will make something of it progress on to enforce women’s rights. the Taliban, who ruled over Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, but were forced out power after the US-led invasion, historically treated women if second-class citizens, die subjecting them to violence, forced marriage and an almost invisible presence in the country.

The group forbidden women of the workplace, prevented them from home unaccompanied and forced them to cover their entire body.

In recent days, the Taliban has made segregation mandatory of genders in classrooms and said female students, teachers and staff should wear headscarves in agreement with the group’s interpretation of Sharia law. A Taliban official announced Which women would not be allowed until play cricket and others sports. And Taliban fighters have used whips and sticks against women protesters, who have taken to the streets in sporadic protests in the whole country die demand equal rights.
“Unlike the guarantees die the Taliban would uphold” women’s rights, over the past three weeks women to have instead gradually excluded from the public atmosphere,” UN Human Rights Chief, Michele Bachelet said in Geneva on Monday.

withdrawal from the US

Khan has previously criticized the US’s departure from Afghanistan, saying he has not spoken with President Joe Biden since the Taliban takeover, despite Pakistan being a major non-NATO ally.

“I imagine he’s very… busy, but our relationship with the US does not just dependent on a phone call, it has to be a multidimensional relationship,” Khan said.

That’s something Khan doesn’t think Pakistan enjoyed during the US 1920s year war in Afghanistan. “We (Pakistan) were like a hired gunKhan said. We had to make them (the US) win the war in Afghanistan, which we could never do.”

Khan said he repeatedly warned US officials that America would fail to achieve its objectives militarily and would “be stuck there.” He said the US should have tried to make a political settlement with the Taliban from a “position” of force”, aware of his presence in Afghanistan, not as it withdrew.

Pakistan has had deep ties with the Taliban and has been accused of supporting the group while fighting the US-backed government — charges denied by Islamabad. As of 2018, Pakistani authorities have the highest-ranking Taliban . released official Mullah Baradar from jail with the express purpose of negotiate with The United States. Last week he was appointed deputy prime minister in the all-male cabinet of the Taliban.

On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US would reconsider its ties with Pakistan after the withdrawal. He told Congress at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Pakistan has a “multiple”. of interests some die to be in conflict with Ours.”

“It is one that is involved in constantly hedging his bets over the future of Afghanistan, it’s… one that’s part of hosting members of the Taliban… It’s one that is also concerned in different points cooperation with us on counter-terrorism,” Blinken said, Reuters reported.

Khan called such comments “ignorant” and told CNN that “I have never heard such ignorance.”

As a neighboring country with deep cultural ties, destiny of Pakistan is bound by it of Afghanistan. Violence, political turmoil and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan will inevitably come all over the border. For Khan, USA invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was disastrous for Pakistan.

According to Khan, thousands of Pakistanis lost their lives in terrorist attacks by militant groups as a result of the support for The United States. “Just because we chose a side” with the US, we became an ally of the US after 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan. The suffering this country has gone through with Bee one point there were 50 militant groups die our attacks government… on top of it, they have to also know there were 480 US drone strikes in Pakistan,” he added.

“The only time a country has been attacked by its ally,” he said of the American strikes.

The US has repeatedly accused Pakistan of harbor terrorists and give them a safe haven, a claim die Khan denies.

“What are these safe havens?” asked Khan. “The area of Pakistan along the border of Afghanistan had the heaviest surveillance by the United States’ drones… wouldn’t they have known if there were safe havens?”

By not standing up to US, previous Pakistani heads of state opened itself up to accusations of cooperation, Khan said.

“The question is, was Pakistan? in a position to in to take military action against the Afghan Taliban when it was already attacked from within by the Pakistani Taliban who attacked the state of Pakistan?” he said.

Khan said he can’t destroy his country to”fight other people’s war.”

“The Afghan Taliban did not attack” us. l wish if I were in government. I would have told the US we’re not going to take them on military because first, we must serve people. My responsibility would have been to people of my country,” Khan said.

CNN’s Becky Anderson, Alireza Haji Hosseini and Zeena Saifi reported from Islamabad and Helen Regan wrote from Hong Kong. With additional coverage from Reuters.

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