Afghan says Imran remarks interference in its internal affairs

Afghanistan has condemned Pak Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan`s remarks that the war against foreign troops in that country is a "jihad".

Updated: Oct 13, 2012, 14:07 PM IST

Islamabad: Afghanistan has condemned Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan`s remarks that the war against foreign troops in that country is a "jihad", describing it as tantamount to interference in its internal affairs.

"This is clear interference in Afghanistan`s internal affairs. We urge the Pakistani government to arrest people who support the Taliban," said Farhad Azimi, Deputy Secretary of the Afghan Parliament.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is set to meet members of Parliament in a regular session to discuss the issue.

Karzai is likely to issue some directions in this regard, Azimi was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

Talking to reporters in Peshawar on Wednesday after visiting teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai who was injured in an assassination attempt by the Taliban, Khan had described the war in Afghanistan against foreign troops as a "jihad".

He also parried a question on whether the activities of militant groups in Pakistan`s tribal belt could be described as terrorism.

Afghan political analyst Fahim Dashti said this was not the first time that Khan had made such a "negative" statement about Afghanistan.

"It is a political slogan through which Khan wants to gain more support. Clearly this is neither fair nor logical," Dashti said.

Those who consider terrorism a threat would never support Khan in his stance, Dashti said. "Even if they are supporting him, he will lose them slowly," he contended.

The Afghan people had high expectations from Khan when his party emerged as a strong political entity but he had turned out to be a conventional politician, Dashti said.

Hamid Zazai, managing director of Mediothek, an Afghan-German NGO, said: "The war in Afghanistan is not jihad. This is a war by terrorists against Afghanistan, its people and the entire international community."

Zazai claimed that Khan was receiving support from the Taliban and by making such statements, he was "paving the way for stronger Taliban support than what he is enjoying now."