ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday dismissed allegations by Afghan government that the country “supports Afghan Taliban” and it does not “abide by its commitment to fight against terrorism.”
Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmad Shakib Mustaghni alleged this week that Pakistan has “increased its presence of both military and advisors among the terrorists in Afghanistan.” Kabul also says Pakistani forces have continued cross-border shelling. Afghan National Security Council also leveled the similar accusations at a time when Taliban militants have increased attacks in parts of Afghanistan.
Pakistan Foreign Ministry dismissed all the charges and insisted that the blame game could affect relationship between the two countries.
“It is deeply dismaying that the spate of Afghan allegations, maligning Pakistan’s national security institutions, continues unabated,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said.
“Pakistan reiterates its categorical rejection of Afghan allegations of involvement in terrorist attacks, insurgent activities or cross-border shelling. We also firmly reject any statements casting aspersions on Pakistan’s commitment to fight terrorism,” Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said at her weekly briefing while responding to questions about recent statements by Afghanistan.
“As we have repeatedly emphasized, terrorism is a common enemy afflicting the whole region and concerted efforts must be made by all sides for combating it effectively. Leveling of baseless allegations serves no useful purpose. It only benefits the enemies of peace and undermines the prospects of a cordial relationship between the fraternal peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan,” she said.
Talking about the ongoing military offensive in North Waziristan tribal region, she said the launch of Operation code-named “Zarb-e-Azb” is the clearest reflection of Pakistan’s resolve to fight terrorism without any discrimination or distinction.
Islamabad is urging Kabul to boost security along the border to foil attempt by the fleeing militants from crossing the border into Afghanistan.
“To ensure optimal results, it is imperative that necessary steps are taken by the Afghan authorities on their side of the border in blocking the fleeing terrorists and eliminating terrorist sanctuaries on Afghan territory. It is equally essential that effective measures are instituted to strengthen border controls and surveillance,” the spokesperson said.
She said Pakistan remains committed to building friendly and good-neighbourly relations with Afghanistan, based on the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“We hope that the Afghan side would reciprocate our policy of restraint and responsibility and our continued efforts for constructive engagement. It is essential to maintain a conducive environment for the continued development of cooperative and mutually-beneficial ties between the two countries,” Ms Aslam said. NNI