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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.