‘Ignorant or accomplice’: Afghan NSA hits out at Pak FM over ties with Taliban; Islamabad replies
- Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s attempt to deflect the blame from the Taliban met with strong criticism from Afghanistan’s national security adviser.
Islamabad said that Afghanistan’s national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib's criticism of Pakistan foreign minister Mahmood Qureshi's comment on rising violence in Afghanistan was "unwarranted". In an interview with Tolo News, Qureshi apparently held the Afghan government responsible for the recent spate of violence, saying that it would be an “exaggeration” to again blame the Taliban for the rise in violence.
“You try to create this impression that the violence is high because of the Taliban, again, that would be an exaggeration. Aren't there other elements over there who are playing the role of a spoiler?” said Qureshi.
“Like who?” The interviewer pressed Qureshi on his rhetorical question.
The Pakistan foreign minister said, “like Daesh, like forces within Afghanistan...who gained from the war economy? Who wants to perpetuate their power? Who is not seeing beyond their nose and just wants to hold on to power?”
Pakistan has been long blamed for providing support to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Qureshi’s attempt to deflect the blame from the Taliban met with criticism from the current Afghan dispensation as well as Pakistani politicians. Pakistan’s Awami National Party leader and Pashtun rights activist Afrasiab Khattak said that Islamabad has thrown away even the pretence of neutrality in Afghanistan and accused the government of internalising the Afghan conflict.
“Why would the Taliban need another foreign minister when they already have one?Pakistan’s “neutrality” in Afghanistan was never credible but it has finally thrown away even that pretension.On its way to fully internalising the Afghan conflict,is Pak sure it can chew what it’s biting?” tweeted Khattak.
The Afghan government has long-standing reservations that Pakistan may be using the Afghan Taliban as a proxy. Mohib, who had earlier drawn the ire of Islamabad for reportedly calling Pakistan a “brothel house”, said that Qureshi’s remark comes at a time when the Taliban is launching a violent offensive against Afghan people across the country.
“[Qureshi] is either uninformed, ignorant or accomplice. Maybe he also rejects that, Osama [Bin Laden] was found next to Pakistani Military HQ,” the Afghan NSA tweeted.
The Pakistan Foreign Office issued a rejoinder to Mohib’s tweet for what it called his "repeated impertinent and unwarranted remarks" and accused him of trying to "disregard and nullify" the progress made in the Afghan peace process. The Pakistan Foreign Office said, "[r]repeated impertinent and unwarranted remarks" were "a calculated attempt by his office to disregard and nullify the progress in the peace process so far", according to Dawn.