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

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
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.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs