Islamabad [Pakistan], August 4 (ANI): Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan-Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Wednesday said that the relations between Pakistan and China could be seriously damaged if Pakistan provided air space to the United States to conduct an air strike in Afghanistan, which killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri.
"I was not aware if Pakistan had provided its "airspace" to the US, but if they have, this could seriously damage our relations with China," Khan said, adding that the country has suffered grave consequences in past for "minuscule benefits".
"Whether you like the Taliban or not, you need to accept that they are not against Pakistan, unlike the Ghani government, and this is why we should not do anything that affects these relations," the Dawn quoted Khan as saying.
PTI chief further said that if Pakistan gives space and America conducts a drone attack in Afghanistan, it will affect the tribal areas.
"Do we want to become a part of someone else's war amid these crises? Have we not learned and will we become a part of someone else's conflict again?" Imran asked.
Khan reiterated that the country is in crisis and the main focus should be bringing stability to the country. He suggested that the only way out of the crisis is fresh elections.
"Free and transparent elections are the only way out of the crisis that has grappled the country right now," Khan said.
He highlighted that rupee was falling and the markets were suffering because they had "lost confidence" in the government. "Imagine that a country's army chief has to call America and request them for funds."He further said that it, however, didn't seem like the coalition government wanted to opt for that because he claimed they were "afraid of losing".
"They are not thinking about the country, they just want to save their loot [...] this is their issue, not Pakistan," he said. "They have money abroad, they don't care if the rupee falls. This will just increase their wealth."Notably, Al Qeaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri was killed on August 1 in a drone strike carried out by the US on a residential house in the Sherpoor area of Kabul city.
An Egyptian surgeon, Zawahiri was one of the most wanted terrorist and was deeply involved in the planning of September 11, 2001 attacks. He also acted as Osama Bin Laden's personal physician. The strike was conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and was carried out by an Air Force drone.
After the drone strike conducted in the Kabul "green zone" of Sherpoor, Kabul and Washington have accused each other of violating the Doha agreement.
Second Deputy Prime Minister of Taliban, Abdul Salam Hanafi slammed the US for the drone strike and said that US drone attack in Kabul violated both national sovereignty and the Doha Agreement and that Afghan territory will not be used against any country.
In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that a strike took place on a residence in the capital and called it a violation of "international principles," responding to which the US secretary of state Antony Blinken said that the Taliban had grossly violated the Doha Agreement by hosting and sheltering the Al-Qaeda chief.
One of the terms of the Doha Agreement was to not provide sanctuary to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
The US and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in February 2020 under then US President Donald Trump. The deal called for withdrawal of US troops from Afghan soil and that the Taliban would abate violence and guarantee that its soil will not be a safe haven for terrorists.
Analysts said that the US drone attack in the centre of Kabul may harm relations between the international community and Afghanistan.
Zawahiri's targeted killing comes a year after the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's takeover of the country. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) added a "deceased" caption under the profile image of Zawahiri on its website. (ANI)