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Pak has more stake in Afghanistan than India: Qureshi

Arguing that it shares cultural, linguistic and ethnic commonalities with Afghanistan, Pakistan has claimed that it has more stake in the war-torn country than India.

world Updated: Mar 28, 2010 13:13 IST

Arguing that it shares cultural, linguistic and ethnic commonalities with Afghanistan, Pakistan has claimed that it has more stake in the war-torn country than India.

"Obviously, their (India's) interests (in Afghanistan) cannot be the same as ours because we share a border," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the popular Charlie Rose Show telecast on PBS news channel.

"They (India) do not share a border (with Afghanistan). We have been impacted (by the events in Afghanistan). They (India) have not been impacted to that extent, because even today we have three million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan," he argued, when asked how he measures India's interest in Afghanistan.

Noting that Afghanistan is a land-locked country, Qureshi said that bulk of their trade is carried through Pakistan. "Practically our economies are one. Culturally, linguistically, ethnically, there are commonalities which Afghanistan shares more with Pakistan than India".

Asked about the relationship between ISI and Taliban in Afghanistan, Qureshi said, the Pakistani intelligence agency is no longer considered a friend of the outfit.

"The way the ISI has been operating, and the way the ISI is being targeted by Taliban is in front of you. Look at their casualties. Look at the number of people that have been injured in the last year-and-a-half, directly-you know", ISI operators.

"Look at the way their different officers have been attacked at Peshawar, in Lahore, in Multan. It is very obvious that our side is no longer considered to be a friend of theirs," he argued, referring to a series of attacks on the intelligence agency's facilities.