Pakistan irked by Afghan leadership's remarks on its Taliban ties

·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 17 (ANI): Pakistan on Monday conveyed its concerns to Afghanistan regarding recent remarks made by the Afghan leadership against Islamabad with regards to its relationship with the Taliban in the light of the US drawdown from its neighbouring country.

Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that Pakistan had conveyed its concerns by making a strong demarche with the Afghan ambassador in Islamabad, Dawn reported.

"Pakistan has emphasised that groundless accusations erode trust and vitiate the environment between the two brotherly countries and disregard the constructive role being played by Pakistan in facilitating the Afghan peace process," the FO spokesperson said.

This statement comes days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had emphasised the need for a decision on peace by the regional players, and for Europe's much-needed role to "get Pakistan on board" on the ongoing peace talks with the Taliban.

In an interview with German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, Ghani had said that "Peace will primarily be decided upon regionally, and I believe we are at a crucial moment of rethinking. It is first and foremost a matter of getting Pakistan on board. The US now plays only a minor role. The question of peace or hostility is now in Pakistani hands."

Over Pakistan's influence on the Taliban, Ghani said, "Pakistan operates an organized system of support. The Taliban receive logistics there, their finances are there and recruitment is there."

"The names of the various decision-making bodies of the Taliban are Quetta Shura, Miramshah Shura, and Peshawar Shura - named after the Pakistani cities where they are located. There is a deep relationship with the state," he added.

These remarks come as Ghani met Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa earlier last week and discussed Pakistan's role in the peace process and the escalation of violence in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have no choice but to opt for mutual respect, good neighbourliness, and economic cooperation, Ghani had said.

Ghani further said that there is no military solution for the ongoing war in Afghanistan and that the Taliban's insistence to stick to a military solution is unacceptable for the people of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has seen a spike in the incidents of violence in recent weeks, leading to casualties of Afghan security forces and civilians. US withdrawal from Afghanistan is underway and set to complete by September 11. (ANI)

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