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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid