Pak media receives chilly reception in Kabul
Sparks flew when the Afghan officials began searching Pak scribes when they went to attend the joint press conference of Aziz and Karzai.Updated: Jan 06, 2007 16:44 IST
Reflecting the growing anger of Afghans over the perceived reluctance of Islamabad to act against the Taliban, Pakistani journalists accompanying Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to Kabul on January 4 bore the burnt of their hosts' ire, receiving a hostile reception during their stay in the country.
"The Pakistani journalists who visited Kabul this week, as part of the prime minister's entourage, saw that an uncertainty about the future possessed in the average Afghan's mind.
They found hostility towards Pakistan in the Afghan capital as chilling as the cold there," wrote a journalist of Dawn newspaper who was part of the media delegation.
"Hostility to Pakistanis is pervasive," the journalist wrote saying that the "animosity" was felt at different times during the two-day stay of the Pakistan media delegation.
Sparks flew when the Afghan officials began searching Pakistan journalists when they went to attend the joint press conference of Aziz and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
"Barbs flew between the journalists and the security personnel who insisted that if the Pakistanis were interested in attending the press conference, they will have to go through a security check," which the Pakistani scribes refused and threatened to return to their hotel.
The issue was sorted out after the intervention of one of Karzai's aides.
"Pakistani journalists were joined by a diplomat in confronting the officials, who appeared to be itching to humiliate the guests.
However, sanity prevailed and the abrasive officials were told to show restraint," the scribe wrote.
Karzai also spoke bluntly during the joint press conference making frequent references of lack of trust between the two countries and Pakistan's reluctance to crack down on the Taliban, whose attacks are destabilising Afghanistan.
Meanwhile it has been announced here that Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao will head the proposed "Jirga Commission" to establish a close liaison with the Afghan government to stop cross-border movement of terrorists.
The formation of the commission, which was agreed during Aziz's visit would be notified by the government in a few days, the newspaper said.
The Afghan government had also been informed about the establishment of the commission, which would consist of five members.
"The Jirga Commission would be similar to a jirga recently formed by Afghan government to tackle infiltration of terrorists into its territory," it quoted officials as saying.
Sherpao said that the plan of fencing and mining the border had not been shelved and setting up of the Jirga Commission was another option to tackle the problem.
"Although the government of Afghanistan has some reservations on fencing and mining the border, it is our right to safeguard our border by any method," he said.
The United Nations had also opposed Pakistan's plan to mine its border with Afghanistan fearing it would kill innocent civilians.
Sherpao said mining was not in violation of the UN Geneva Convention.
"There would be no bar on land mining if the areas where it is put in place are marked, otherwise it is a violation of the UN resolutions," he said.
First Published: Jan 06, 2007 16:44 IST