News / Asia

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Allegations it Supports Militants Behind Pre-election Attacks

FILE - Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser on foreign affairs.
FILE - Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser on foreign affairs.
Ayaz Gul
Pakistan has dismissed as “unfortunate” Afghan allegations that Islamabad is behind a recent spike in attacks aimed at disrupting the April 5 presidential polls and blocking Kabul’s efforts for a peace deal with the Taliban. 
 
Afghan authorities have suggested that an attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul and attacks on electoral commission offices in recent days have been carried out by “foreign intelligence agencies.” On Sunday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry by phone, urging Washington to help the situation by putting pressure on Pakistan’s spy agency.  
 
Pakistan's advisor on foreign policy and national security, Sartaj Aziz, denied the allegations, suggesting they are part of election-season politics in Afghanistan.
 
In an interview with VOA, Aziz said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government has tried to improve relations with Kabul. He said Pakistani authorities believed they had convinced President Karzai it has no favorites in Afghanistan and strictly adheres to a policy of non-interference.
 
Aziz claims the diplomatic outreach succeeded in connecting with many Afghan political factions, including leaders of the former Northern Alliance, and had improved overall relations. But the latest allegations are a setback.
 
“It is rather unfortunate because there is no justification for it. What do we get out of disrupting the elections? For us, a smooth transition in Afghanistan is absolutely critical because without peace and stability in Afghanistan Pakistan cannot be stable. So, therefore it is important that this thing is reviewed,” said Aziz, referring to the leveling of accusations.
 
Aziz also said that Pakistan is taking all possible steps to prevent anyone from trying to undermine the Afghan presidential vote and is ready to deal with any government that emerges in Kabul after the elections. He described as “unrealistic” President Karzai’s demands that Pakistan should bring the Taliban to the table to for peace talks with his government.
 
“He thinks somehow we should be able to deliver the Taliban but even in the best of times even before 9/11 they listened to us only when it suited them. I do not think they are under anybody’s control. So obviously we told them that this is an intra-Afghan issue we have some influence on the Taliban but we do not control them. This was what I would call an unrealistic expectation,” said Aziz.
 
President Karzai and his advisors routinely accuse the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, of supporting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.
 
In his phone call Sunday with Kerry, President Karzai went on to complain that the Taliban wants to enter into peace talks with his government, but “there were impediments to its progress, where Pakistan’s cooperation was needed.” He called on the United States to work harder to influence countries that are opposing Afghanistan’s peace efforts.
 
Meanwhile, Pakistani advisor Aziz also discussed reports that the United States will not supply Pakistan with any excess equipment from Afghanistan, including armored vehicles known as MRAPs, after American troops leave.
 
"Obviously, if there is any surplus equipment in Afghanistan, Afghanistan will naturally like to retain it. But unfortunately this [media] report was incorrect. We have continuing defense agreement, arrangement with America and they may give us some equipment but not from Afghanistan. That is probably coming from other sources and somehow somebody got link it that a part of it will come from the surplus stores in Afghanistan and that created this misunderstanding,” explained Aziz.
 
The Afghan government strongly protested against the possible delivery of U.S. military hardware to Pakistan and demanded Washington immediately halt any such move. The angry reaction prompted the American commander of international forces in Afghanistan to issue a statement denying there are plans to hand over equipment to Islamabad.

You May Like

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs