'Won't allow Pakistan soil to be used against any country'
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will decide whether Pakistan will recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan or not.
He was addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday. On Sunday, the Afghan Taliban returned to power after twenty years. They entered Kabul on Sunday noon, completing the overall takeover of the country with the capture of capital Kabul.
“It’s very crucial time,” the interior minister said, adding that some people wanted to make Pakistan a scapegoat for what happened in Afghanistan, but they had failed. Rasheed said Pakistan won’t allow anyone to use its soil to be used against any country. Pakistan has long been accused of allowing a porous border with Afghanistan to be used by extremists.
Reaction to Ashraf Ghani news
Sheikh Rasheed commented on the reports that former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani took three cars and a helicopter full of dollars in cash with him while fleeing Kabul. It is in the nature of every corrupt person to flee a country, he said. They either have their ill-gotten money already stored outside their countries or they take it with them, he said.
Refugee crisis in Pakistan
Pakistan shares a long 2,600 kilometer border with Afghanistan. Two major entry points are Spin Boldak, Afghanistan into Chaman town in Balochistan, Torkham. They are used by people of the two countries. The other border crossings are for trucks and trade.
The worry was that Pakistan would face a refugee crisis of people fleeing Afghanistan as it did earlier. But Sheikh Rasheed said that Torkham and Chaman border points were totally peaceful. Only 413 people have entered Pakistan from Afghanistan so far. He rejected reports by the Indian media that there had been an influx of Afghan refugees to Pakistan.
Chaman-Spin Boldak crossing reopens
Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan reopened Friday after seven days.
Pakistan border officials are allowing people to enter after checking their documents.
The crossing was closed for traffic last week after Afghan Taliban closed their side of the border and said that until Pakistan relaxed its visa regime for Afghans, no one will be allowed through.
This was in response to Pakistani officials enforcing visa regime for Afghans which previously were not as strictly observed. Following the border closure, hundreds of people and vehicles carrying goods were stuck on both sides of the border.