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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid