Afghanistan: Women protest against Taliban in Kabul
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Imran Khan even claimed that the country’s attempts to adopt Western culture during the 20 years the US-led coalition were there was “worse than actual slavery”. The leader of the nuclear state – which shares a huge porous border with Afghanistan – spoke after the Islamist militants took control over vast swathes of the country including the capital Kabul.
Over the weekend Taliban fighters stormed the city and its presidential palace, prompting chaos as thousands of Afghans tried to flee.
Totally ignoring the group’s well-documented barbarity, Mr Khan said: “When you adopt someone’s culture you believe it to be superior and you end up becoming a slave to it.”
He added: “You take over the other culture and become psychologically subservient.
“When that happens, please remember, it is worse than actual slavery. It is harder to throw off the chains of cultural enslavement.”
Mr Khan said of the Taliban in Afghanistan: “What is happening in Afghanistan now, they have broken the shackles of slavery.”
His comments were quickly slammed – with many pointing out that they failed to acknowledge the group’s appalling human rights record or the fact that the West tried to bring democracy to the country.
One Twitter user raged: “This man has the cheek to talk about culture.”
Another said: “The Pakistani PM just heralded the victory of the Taliban as overcoming the ‘shackles of slavery’.
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“Just for the record, the presumed ‘enslavers’ (America) have given Pakistan over $5billion (£3.6billion) in civilian aid and over $1billion (£730million) in emergency humanitarian aid since 2019.”
Meanwhile a third wrote: “(Mr Khan) says Afghans have broken the ‘shackles of slavery’.
“He cites English medium schools in Kabul as signs of ‘mental slavery’.
“I guess Imran hated English when he studied at Cathedral school, Lahore & Royal Grammar School (and in) Worcester in England!”
His outburst came shortly before Boris Johnson spoke to Mr Khan about the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister stressed his commitment to work with international partners to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan and the wider region.
“The Prime Minister underlined that any recognition of the new government in Afghanistan needs to happen on an international, not unilateral basis.
“He said that the legitimacy of any future Taliban government will be subject to them upholding internationally agreed standards on human rights and inclusivity.
“The Prime Minister and Prime Minister Khan agreed their governments will keep in close contact in the coming days on the evolving situation.”
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