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Pak harbouring terrorists, says Afghan NSA

Accusing Pakistan of harbouring Taliban and al-Qaeda militants, a top Afghan official on Monday said the global community is committing a blunder by embracing it as a strategic partner despite the fact that terrorism emanating from the region is affecting India, UK and others.

world Updated: Aug 23, 2010 11:57 IST

Accusing Pakistan of harbouring Taliban and al-Qaeda militants, a top Afghan official on Monday said the global community is committing a blunder by embracing it as a strategic partner despite the fact that terrorism emanating from the region is affecting India, UK and others.

"Unfortunately, the military-intelligence establishment of one of our neighbours still regards Afghanistan as its sphere of influence," Rangin Dadfar Spanta, National Security Advisor of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said in an op-ed in 'The Washington Post'.

Spanta, who had also served as the country's foreign minister, said that Pakistan, while faced with a growing domestic terrorist threat, "continues to provide sanctuary and support to the (Taliban's) Quetta Shura, the Haqqani network, the Hekmatyar group and al-Qaeda."

"And while the documents recently disclosed by WikiLeaks contained information that was neither new nor surprising, they did make public further evidence of the close relations among the Taliban, al-Qaeda and Pakistani intelligence," he said. The international community is present in Afghanistan to dismantle these international terrorist networks, Spanta said. "Yet the focus on this fundamental task has progressively eroded and has been compounded by another strategic failure: the mistaken embrace of 'strategic partners' who have, in fact, been nurturing terrorism."

The Afghan National Security Advisor said undoubtedly the absence of transparency in contracts and the presence of private security companies clearly connected to certain officials -- contributing ultimately to the privatisation of security and thus insecurity in Afghanistan -- are matters of grave concern.

"But the international terrorist presence in the region is not entrenched solely because of Afghan corruption. Britain, Spain, Turkey, China, Germany and India have all been victims not of Afghan corruption but of international terrorism -- emanating from the region," he said.