Karzai questions Pak's opposition to Indian consulates | world | Hindustan Times
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Mar 23, 2017-Thursday
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Karzai questions Pak's opposition to Indian consulates

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Questioning Pakistan's objections to India having consulates in Afghanistan's Jalalabad and Kandahar, President Hamid Karzai has wondered why Islamabad allowed Indian diplomatic mission on its soil if it was a security threat for them.

"Isn't there an Indian embassy in Islamabad?" he asked during an interview with an Afghan news agency.

"Why has Pakistan allowed that on its soil if the Indian diplomatic missions are such a threat?" the president asked.

Pakistan has objected to India having consulates in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad and Kandahar in the south, alleging that they were a security threat to it.

Informed sources here say that the Pakistani leadership takes up the issue in nearly every meeting with the Afghan leader.

India has traditionally maintained diplomatic sub-offices in both the cities which lie near the Afghan-Pak frontier. When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan (1996-2001), New Delhi was forced to close even its embassy in Kabul.

Speaking of the widely speculated "spring offensive" of the Taliban, which has been a subject of discussion and disquiet in NATO circles, Karzai said that the extremists "cannot launch an offensive, whether in spring or any other season, without assistance from outside".

He said almost all attacks launched by the Taliban were taking place in provinces that border Pakistan.

"When I visited Faryab province in northern Afghanistan some time back, my security guards left me unguarded, and their stance was that the province was not near the Pakistan border," Karzai said.