Kabul - The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday summoned a senior official from Pakistani Embassy in Kabul over “new government” remarks by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the MoFA spokesman Sebghat Ahmadi confirmed, reported ToloNews.

He said the Afghan government shared its serious criticism with the Pakistani diplomat and has called the remarks “interference in internal affairs of Afghanistan”.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan summoned the counsellor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Kabul over the recent remarks by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan,” said Ahmadi. “We shared our serious criticism with Pakistani side. The Afghan government considers these remarks as clear and evident interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.”

This comes as Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday that peace in Afghanistan is “around the corner,” referring







to the efforts by the United States for a political settlement to the conflict in the country. “Negotiations have been initiated with the Taliban. God willing, our brothers in Afghanistan would live together in peace in coming days,” Khan told a big public gathering in Bajaur tribal district on the Afghan border.

Without elaborating further, Khan asserted the peace process would result in stability, trade and economic prosperity for the region, and particularly for Afghanistan to enable the war-shattered country stand on its own feet. “A good government will be established in Afghanistan, a government where all Afghans will be represented. The war will end and peace will be established there,” Khan said.

This comes after the US Department of State said on Wednesday that the Taliban in talks with the US negotiators made meaningful progress in Qatar talks. “We’ve received reports back from Special Representative Khalilzad that they’ve had meaningful progress,” Robert Palladino, the State Department’s deputy spokesperson, told reporters at a daily briefing in Washington on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, the summons by the Afghan foreign affairs ministry marked the second time in just over three weeks that Kabul has demanded an explanation from Pakistan, illustrating the longstanding tensions between the two neighbours at a sensitive time.

In February, the ministry summoned Pakistani ambassador Zahid Nasrullah Khan over his remarks that Afghan peace talks could be affected if India resorted to violence against Pakistan.

The summons to Pakistan comes a day after a top official in President Ashraf Ghani’s government voiced frustration about what Kabul regards as Afghanistan being sidelined during talks between Taliban and US negotiators, drawing a rebuke from Washington.