Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan opines that Afghan women are “strong and I feel give them time they will assert their rights.” Khan, who of late has been displaying a much more balanced stance towards the Taliban regime, contrary to his unflinching support in the past, made the statement in an interview with BBC.
When quizzed how much time, he added, “A year, two years, three years. At the moment it’s just too early to say anything. It’s barely been a month, after 20 years of civil war, they (Taliban) come back into power.”
Khan sounded optimistic that the Taliban would eventually allow women to pursue their education. “The idea that women should not be educated is just not Islamic. It has nothing to do with religion,” Khan replied. The Taliban have barred girls from attending school but they have dropped hints that the ban could be revoked.
Elaborating on the importance of an inclusive government in Afghanistan vis-a-vis Pakistan, Khan said, “Our biggest worry is that an absence of an inclusive government will lead to a huge humanitarian crisis. And that would immediately precipitate a refugee problem and secondly if they do not have an inclusive government, sooner or later they will descend into a civil war and that too will impact Pakistan.”
Khan added that a chaotic and unstable Afganistan would be an ideal place for terrorism which would have severe repercussions on his country.
Smartly evading a question on whether his government would formally recognise the Taliban administration, he appealed to the international community to be patient with the hardline group.