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While giving a media briefing to journalists, Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said that Pashtuns are probably the most xenophobic people on earth.

The prime minister was talking about the situation in Afghanistan and the various ethnicities that make up the country.

"We have a larger Pashtun population here in Pakistan than in Afghanistan. They fight each other normally but when it's an outside force, they all get together," the premier said while interacting with the foreign journalists.

PM Khan's remarks about Pashtuns drew ire on Twitter.

A user wrote on Twitter that if PM Imran was a social scientist or a social anthropologist.

Another user said that it was shocking that PM Imran pronounced the Pashtuns as xenophobic.

During the interaction with the foreign media, the prime minister talked about the current situation in Afghanistan, its impact on Pakistan, and the withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country.

The premier said that anyone who thought Afghanistan could be controlled from outside "doesn't understand the character of the Afghan people", adding that the people could not be made "puppets".

Replying to a question about Pakistan's influence on Taliban, PM Khan emphasised that attempting to influence the Afghan government would not work since the Afghan population would not accept it and any perception of being controlled from outside would lead to a loss of credibility.

"Pakistan should work with any government that is selected by the people of Afghanistan," he added.

Recalling his meeting with Taliban delegation the premier said that he had tried to persuade the Taliban for peace. He admitted that a political settlement was looking difficult under the current circumstances.

The Prime Minister said the Afghan government must stop making Pakistan a scapegoat for its own failures. He said Pakistan was not responsible for Afghanistan's internal problems.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan played a crucial role for making peace in its neighbourhood including Afghanistan and Doha talks were meant to ensure peace there through ceasefire and political settlement.

He said the prevailing situation in Afghanistan could lead to a civil war in the country resultantly making us suffer being the immediate neighbour. He said it could also affect our geo economic agenda of improving trade links with Central Asia.

The premier said that Afghanistan was an ethnically diverse population so if the Taliban tried to take over and one ethnic group tried to impose itself over the others, it would lead to "constant unrest and that isn't what Pakistan wants".

Speaking on Pakistan-US relations, the prime minister said that United States has chosen India as its strategic partner in the region, hence it was treating Pakistan differently.