Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister insisted Monday that his country is no longer a safe haven for terror organisations, adding that his administration fully supports the peace process in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Khan’s statement comes at a time, when interestingly, The United States, India, and Afghanistan have long accused his country of providing safe havens to terror organisations like the Taliban, the Haqqani network, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
Acknowledging publicly that the previous administrations in Pakistan did not take a tough stand against the terror groups, Khan said, “I can tell you that there are no safe havens here.”
“Whatever the situation might have been in the past, right now, I can tell you... there is one thing we want: peace in Afghanistan." Khan said while addressing the two-day refugee summit in Islamabad also attended by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
While Pakistan “cannot fully guarantee that no Taliban militants are hiding among the huge number of Afghans in Pakistan,” Khan said that his government had done all it can to prevent attacks in Afghanistan, including by building a border fence.
“How is the government capable of checking how militants operate from the camps,” Khan said, adding that it was not possible because the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan have had a population of over 100,000.
Khan’s assertion came after Afghanistan's second vice president, Sarwar Danish accused Pakistan of allowing the Taliban to recruit new fighters from Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan to launch attacks in his country.
Earlier, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in his address stated that the people of Pakistan for 40 years have responded with generosity in hosting the Afghan refugees.
"Even though major conflict has erupted in some other part of the world; Pakistan is still the second largest refugee host. I am struck by the extraordinary solidarity and compassion," he said.
At the same time, he urged the international community to step up support for Pakistan in tackling the problem of Afghan refugees.
"The global community must step up," Guterres added.