The former National Security Adviser of Afghanistan and presidential runner Mohammad Haneef Atmar reacted to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks regarding the setup of an interim government in Afghanistan.

“Recent statement attributed to PM @ImranKhanPTI of Pakistan is a willful interference in #Afghanistan’s internal affairs. Afghanistan is a sovereign nation & the Afghan people, not the leader of a neighboring country, can decide the future of govt & politics in our country,” Atmar said in a statement posted in his official Twitter account.

Atmar further added “We at the #PeaceAndModeration team condemn the inappropriate statement by Prime Minister of Pakistan.  We call on our neighboring country to respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty and abide by internationally accepted norms of state behavior in its relation with our country.”

“To clarify, our position about the formation of a caretaker govt post 21st of May 2019 is strictly a domestic matter, based on a legitimate national concern & fully consistent with our constitution. Regardless of any foreign inference, we will continue to pursue this policy,” Atmar said, adding that “Meanwhile, I’m disappointed by  remarks by ex-colleagues showing grave lapse of judgement. Our team’s past record of sacrifice for our country’s independence speak for itself.  We’ve always stood & fought on the right side of history and shall continue to do so in future.”

The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier suggested an interim government setup in Afghanistan to help end the impasse in Afghan peace process.

Speaking with local journalists at his office on Monday, PM Khan claimed that the Afghan government was a hurdle in peace process as it was insisting on direct talks with the Taliban group.

He also added that a neutral interim government can help with the success of peace process in Afghanistan by holding a free and transparent election.