Kabul and Islamabad traded insults over the war with the Taliban on Wednesday, plunging their frosty relations to a new low at a key juncture in efforts to search for peace before NATO withdraws.
It was the most explosive in a series of rows that have marred Western efforts to build trust between the two governments, considered integral to forging any lasting peace with the Taliban who have been fighting in Afghanistan for nearly 12 years.
It came as a US drone strike targeting the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, blamed by Washington for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, killed 17 militants in Pakistan, officials said.
Afghan army chief of staff General Sher Mohammad Karimi told the BBC in an interview that Pakistan could end the Afghan war “in weeks” if it were serious about peace.
“Madrassas have been closed and all the Taliban have been unleashed to Afghanistan,” he said.
He also said “the Taliban are under their control” and Pakistan could do far more to promote a nascent peace process. The search for peace in Afghanistan is now an urgent priority as 100,000 US-led NATO combat troops prepare to withdraw next year and Afghan forces take on the fight against insurgents.