In an interview released on Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan declared that if the Taliban takes over Afghanistan by force, Pakistan would not intervene militarily, Arab News reported.

Imran Khan spoke with New York Times about Pakistan’s future plans in the context of US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan by 11th September.

Imran Khan responded to the question of what Pakistan would do if the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan as “let me assure you, we will do everything except using military action against the Taliban”.

“Now, we are fencing it, and almost 90 percent of the border, we’ve fenced now,” Khan stated. “What if [the] Taliban try to take over Afghanistan through [the] military? Then we will seal the border because now we can, because we have fenced our border, which was previously [open], because Pakistan does not want to get into, number one, conflict, secondly, we do not want another influx of refugees”, he further explained.

When asked if Pakistan would recognize the Taliban if they carried out a full military takeover of Afghanistan, Khan responded, “Pakistan will only recognize a government chosen by the people of Afghanistan, whichever government they choose.”

In response to questions on Pakistan’s future relationship with the United States following the departure of American soldiers from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Khan stated that Pakistan has always had a closer relationship with the US than India.

“After 9/11, Pakistan again opted to join the US war on terror. Now, after the US leaves Afghanistan, basically Pakistan would want a civilized relationship, which you have between nations, and we would like to improve our trading relationship with the US,” he said.

However, the former White House National Security Advisor, John Bolton, in an exclusive interview stated that “Pakistan is a safe haven for Taliban”, and “Pakistan’s intelligence and other internal circles have been in contact with the Taliban for decades”. He accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban.

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