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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More