Afghan envoy urges US to halt weapons sale to Pakistan

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by Waseem Abbasi

Afghanistan has once again repeated the mantra of Pakistan’s support for attacks inside the war-torn country while Islamabad has asked Kabul to look inwards as corruption and bad governance has left the country in turmoil.

The “candid” dialogue between the ambassadors of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the world’s most important capital was organised by a US think tank here on Monday. While Pakistan’s ambassador Aizaz Chauhdry called for restoration of a quadrilateral dialogue among the two countries, US and China to end conflict in Afghanistan, his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib was not in conciliatory mood, urging the world not to supply weapons to Pakistan militarywhich he claimed has launched an “undeclared war on Afghanistan”. In response to what he termed “undiplomatic” remarks of Afghan Ambassador,  Chaudhry said his country has been listening these allegations for years as the Afghan government wants to deflect attention from its failure.

“It’s not something new. We have heard for the last one and half years to two years…a mantra along these lines. And much more hostile rhetoric has been voiced. But it has been our view that we would not respond to that hostility…We do not think that blame game would get any country far,” he said. Afghan alleged that Taliban are getting medical treatment, training and resources from Pakistan and asked what Islamabad wants to achieve by supporting these groups. Ambassador Chauhdry said Kabul has never been able to provide any evidence in support of its allegations and within the government in Kabul many blamed Afghan administration for insider attacks.

“There are reports that not entire country is control of Afghan forces. We hear that Daesh is also coming to Afghanistan in Nangarhar province which concerns Pakistan” Responding to a barrage of allegations by Ambassador Mohib, Pakistan’s envoy said the country wants better management of border so that cross border terrorism could be stopped on both sides. He said there were evidence that brutal terrorist attack on army public school Peshawar was planned inside Afghanistan and several other attacks were also supported by elements across the border. He said it was too easy to say that all the ills of today’s Afghanistan are because of his country.

“Even for academic purposes, we accept that Pakistan-Afghan border is completely sealed and not a bird is allowed to fly across, would Afghanistan be able to get rid of all its problems,” he questioned. The Pakistani diplomat said that there are a variety of issues that pervade Afghanistan, including bad governance, corruption, weakening of the Afghanistan national security forces, debt paid issues, and economic issues. The ambassador said putting the blame on Pakistan would, at best, deflect attention from the real causes of instability in Afghanistan.  Pakistan, he said, want peaceful and stable Afghanistan as the country is witnessing a strong economic growth and instable neighbor can harm this development.

Referring to a recent meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of SCO Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, the seasoned diplomat said : “We need to be realistic, instead of hurling blame all the time, as we say, we need a friendship, we need a cooperative spirit.” He said the two countries would now be holding consultations to prepare some kind of mechanism to coordinate the actions against terrorist. He said the proof of Pakistan’s success in tribal areas can be seen by the whole world as terror incidents have decreased to almost negligible after Pakistan military launched a successful operation in tribal areas.

“These terrorists are nobody’s friend. We would not like to see Taliban come to power by force in Afghanistan. And we have made it very clear that they do not represent Pakistan in any manner. And we are squeezing space on them. Therefore, we would humbly suggest to curb this tendency of scapegoating Pakistan, because that will not solve any problem,” he said. Despite the aggressive tone by his Afghan counterpart, Pakistani envoy maintained a conciliatory approach throughout the two-hour dialogue.  Mohibremaked about Pakistan’s internal affairs despite repeated objection by Ambassador Chauhdry. He said Kabul is not sure who to talk to in Pakistan.

“Which Pakistan we should talk to? The Pakistan that occupies by a militant group, by a military, or the Pakistan of the civilians?” Mohib asked.  He claimed the Pakistan government led by the civilians doesn’t have a voice. “The reality is that policies are made by the military which uses militancy as a foreign policy tool,” he asserted. courtesy The News.

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