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‘Imran Khan fears global pushback if Pakistan becomes first country to recognise Taliban government’

Imran Khan: To be isolated by becoming the only state to recognise the Taliban regime would be the last thing we would want

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is wary of adverse international pressure if Pakistan becomes the first country in the world to recognise the Taliban's interim government in Afghanistan, stating that good ties with the global community are necessary for Islamabad to recover from financial challenges, a recent media report said.

"If Pakistan is the first to grant recognition, the international pressure will become too much for us as we try to turn our economy around," said Imran Khan in an interview with French media outlet Le Figaro. The Pakistan Prime Minister also conveyed the country's inefficiency in paying back loans. "We could no longer pay our debts. We can only recover if we have good relations with the international community."

"To be isolated by becoming the only state [to recognise the Taliban regime] would be the last thing we would want," he added.

Imran Khan also referred to the international perspective over the recognition of the Taliban, saying the countries and global organisations have sought for an inclusive government in Kabul and demanded the Taliban to respect human rights and women rights, according to The Express Tribune.

"As for the conditions for such recognition, there is an international consensus that there must be an inclusive government in Afghanistan. There is also the issue of human rights and women's rights. The Taliban government has made promises on these two issues. What more is needed to make the world satisfied? That is the question," said Pakistan PM.

Imran also conveyed that the new rulers in Kabul did not give any concrete promises on the issue of women's rights during a Taliban delegation's visit in December. "There were no concrete answers. They gave an agreement in principle…You cannot force them. There is a limit to what foreign pressure can do to a government like the Taliban. Afghans should not be expected to respect women's rights as Westerners understand them."

The Pakistan Prime Minister also said that the Taliban have sought more times on the issue of girls education.

Imran also stressed a more stable government in Kabul when asked about the consequences of the Taliban's return to power and impact on Pakistan as TTP scaled up attacks recently, according to The Express Tribune.

"We believe that the more stable the Afghan government is, the less these groups can operate. That is why we are so concerned about the stability of Afghanistan," he said, adding that the Pakistani government trusted the Afghan Taliban "when they say they will not let militants strike from their territory."

Imran also said that the Taliban will suffer if terrorists continue to operate from Afghan soil when asked about a UN report which underlines links between al Qaeda and the Taliban. "If terrorists operate from [the] Afghan soil, the Taliban will suffer. It is in their interest to stop international terrorism."

Also Read: Taliban's rise can revive terrorism in Asia and Africa – India tells UN