Pakistan cautioned Afghanistan and India on Thursday to avoid taking steps that may affect regional stability after Kabul and New Delhi signed a wide-ranging strategic partnership agreement this week.
“It is the sovereign right of every country to promote the kind of bilateral relations they want. For us, the most significant thing is the importance we attach to regional stability, which should not be disrupted in any way,” foreign ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua told reporters here at a weekly news briefing. Some view the enhanced partnership between India and Afghanistan as part of coordinated efforts backed by the US to undermine Pakistan’s ‘pivotal’ role in the future political dispensation of Afghanistan.
Janjua said the Foreign Office was still studying the agreement signed between Afghanistan and India, in reply to a question about the possible ramifications for Pakistan.
The accord inked during Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s visit to New Delhi materialised amidst Islamabad’s strained ties with both Washington and Kabul. Senior Afghan officials have upped the ante against Pakistan following the assassination of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani. Kabul claimed that the suicide bomber, who killed Rabbani, was a Pakistani national and had connections with the Taliban’s Quetta Shura.
Some officials even pointed fingers at the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for masterminding the attack. But the foreign ministry spokesperson strongly rejected the charge urging Afghanistan to act responsibly and stop the blame game.
Janjua said there are regional complexities, which Pakistan is trying to address. “Others also need to have an objective appreciation of regional complexities,” she argued reflecting Pakistan’s position that the Haqqani network can be dealt with through dialogue.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2011.