News / Asia

Afghanistan, Pakistan Trade Accusations

Britains PM Cameron (5th L) chairs a meeting with Pakistan's President Zardari (4th R) and Afghan President Karzai (6th R), at Cameron's country residence, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire, February 4, 2013 file photo.Britains PM Cameron (5th L) chairs a meeting with Pakistan's President Zardari (4th R) and Afghan President Karzai (6th R), at Cameron's country residence, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire, February 4, 2013 file photo.
x
Britains PM Cameron (5th L) chairs a meeting with Pakistan's President Zardari (4th R) and Afghan President Karzai (6th R), at Cameron's country residence, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire, February 4, 2013 file photo.
Britains PM Cameron (5th L) chairs a meeting with Pakistan's President Zardari (4th R) and Afghan President Karzai (6th R), at Cameron's country residence, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire, February 4, 2013 file photo.
Sharon Behn
Relations between neighbors Afghanistan and Pakistan have taken another downturn with each side blaming the other of hindering the already fragile peace process in Afghanistan. The tensions come at a critical time, as foreign forces prepare to leave Afghanistan in less than two years.

Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai on Saturday accused Pakistan of having set a number of unacceptable pre-conditions to the peace and reconciliation process with the Taliban.

"They have asked us to sever our ties with the Republic of India, they have asked us to send our army officers to Pakistan for training, and they have asked us to immediately sign the strategic partnership agreement that Pakistan proposed to Afghanistan," he said.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected the accusation that Islamabad had laid down any conditions. In a statement, spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Choudhry said the Strategic Agreement had come from Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

He also said Pakistan's offer to train Afghan army officers had been nothing more than a gesture of goodwill, and finally that Pakistan had no objection to Kabul developing relations with any country, but only stressed that "external forces" based in Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan should be discouraged.

India, which Pakistan sees as a regional adversary, is one of the largest international donors in Afghanistan. Islamabad also believes both Taliban militants and intelligence agents from India use Afghanistan as a base to enter its territory.

Former U.S. ambassador Karl Inderfurth with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies says it is crucial for regional stability that the two countries to cooperate.

"The question is whether or not Pakistan and India are able to find some way to accommodate their respective interests in Afghanistan," he said. "They have deep suspicion of each others' actions and motives in that country. I think what is clearly needed is for the two countries to find some way to discuss and try to reconcile those differences and address those suspicions, otherwise Afghanistan will continue to be a country that is insecure and not at peace."

Earlier in the week, Afghanistan had accused Pakistan of a lack of interest in the peace process - apparently a reaction to reports that Pakistan Foreign Ministry officials had described Afghan President Hamid Karzai as an obstacle to the reconciliation process.

Islamabad's involvement in that process is seen as crucial because of its close ties with Afghan insurgents whom the U.S. has said take refuge along Pakistan's long and porous border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan retired general Talat Masood says the war of words is unhelpful.

"There is a need for cooperation at this time rather than confrontation and making allegations against each other, which will make things much easier for the militants and especially for the Taliban to expand their influence and create a space for themselves," he said.

The high level tensions come as Karzai left on a state visit to Doha, the capital of Qatar. While there, Karzai is expected to discuss the opening of an office for the Taliban where peace talks with the militants could be held.

Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Mosazai says Kabul has called on the Taliban to join the peace process, and engage with Afghanistan's High Peace Council to end the conflict in the country before all foreign troops leave.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Afghani-Refugee from: Canada
April 02, 2013 3:53 PM
Last minute ditch from Karzai before US exit. Has he forgotten something. This is a right time to repatriate all Afghan refugees from Pakistan. They are no longer welcome in Pakistan. If India wants to be a super power in the region send them to India.

by: Ashim Kumar Chatterjee from: Delhi
March 30, 2013 10:31 PM
Conditions in Afpak region is appropriate for intervention of trusteeship council of UNO with active participation of Pakistan, China, India, Russia along with those of important NATO countries. Withdrawal of forces is welcome but not a vacuum. There is need for check with balances in the role of regional stakeholders.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs