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Pakistan rejects irresponsible, baseless allegations by Afghan leadership

Pakistan hails US’s timely provision of coronavirus medical supplies

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office has rejected recent irresponsible statements and baseless allegations made by the Afghan leadership against Pakistan with regards to its relationship with the Afghan Taliban.

FO spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in a statement emphasized that groundless accusations erode trust and vitiate the environment between the two brotherly countries and disregard the constructive role being played by Pakistan in facilitating the Afghan peace process.

The spokesman said that Pakistan had conveyed its concerns by making a strong demarche with the Afghan ambassador in Islamabad. “The Afghan side has been urged to effectively utilize available forums, like the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity, to address all bilateral issues,” the FO spokesperson said.

The FO statement comes days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in an interview with an international publication claimed that Pakistan operated an organized system of support for the Taliban.

“The names of the different decision-making groups of the Taliban are Miramshah Shura, Peshawar Shura and Quetta Shura named after the Pakistani metropolis where they are located. There is a deep relationship with the state,” Ghani told the publication.

To a question about the peace process, the Afghan president said, “Peace will mostly be decided upon locally, and I trust we are at a critical moment of rethinking. It is the first and primary issue of getting Pakistan on board. The US now plays only a slight role. The question of peace or opposition is now in the hands of Pakistani leadership,” Ghani added.

The Pakistani army chief had comforted him that the restoration of the Emirate or dictatorship by the Taliban was not in anyone’s interest in the region, particularly Pakistan, he said.

Though, Ghani said, some of the lower levels in the army still hold the opposite opinion in certain cases. It is primarily a question of political will, he added. Regarding a future security preparation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said: “Most positively an essential key. However, my aim is the neutrality of Afghanistan. We don’t want a new shielding power, and we don’t want to be part of regional or international rivalries.”