QUETTA: Pakistan’s Information Minister Murtaza Solangi strongly responded to imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement on the treatment of Afghan refugees, stating that the PTI founder aimed to garner sympathy from the interim Afghan government.
During a press conference, Murtaza Solangi suggested that Imran Khan might be attempting to create an atmosphere to elicit sympathy from the Afghan government. He expressed concerns about the potential indirect involvement of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) members, sent by Afghanistan, to influence the upcoming elections in favor of Imran Khan’s party.
In a message from jail posted on former prime minister X’s official handler on Thursday, which letter Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf issued, Imran Khan said that the treatment being given to Afghan refugees contradicted the teachings of Islam, the Holy Quran, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, and our social and moral traditions.
افغان مہاجرین کے ساتھ روا رکھے جانے برتاؤ پر بانی چئیرمین تحریک انصاف عمران خان کا جیل سے خصوصی پیغام. pic.twitter.com/zWRDzkiCct
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 7, 2023
The government initiated a campaign in November to deport illegal foreign nationals, primarily Afghans.
Out of the over four million Afghans residing in Pakistan, the government estimates that 1.7 million lack proper documentation. Since the repatriation process began, thousands of Afghans have voluntarily returned home through the Torkham and Chaman border crossings.
Solangi stressed the importance of inquiring with the PTI founder and his associates regarding the agreement, or lack thereof, and whether Parliament was consulted when allowing the resettlement of “thousands of TTP terrorists” in Pakistan before the end of the PTI government’s term.
The information minister also questioned the authenticity of Imran’s post, stating that Imran Khan did not have the facility to post anything on social media. He questioned whether the statement had indeed been posted by Imran.
“If this is truly his opinion, I would have preferred him to address the challenges faced by 250 million Pakistanis instead of attempting to represent the illegal Afghans in Pakistan,” he remarked.
Solangi refuted the accusation in Imran’s post regarding the forced expulsion of Afghan refugees, describing it as “baseless.” He contended that the majority of the 500,000 who left did so willingly, with only a few thousand being forcefully expelled.