Pakistan could abandon Afghan projects, says official

Published: May 29, 2016
Harassment of Pakistani nationals, who are working on various projects, is now common, says Pakistani official PHOTO: AFP

Harassment of Pakistani nationals, who are working on various projects, is now common, says Pakistani official PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: In a sign of fast deteriorating ties between Islamabad and Kabul, Pakistan has indicated it could abandon work on development projects in Afghanistan in the wake of harassment of its workers there.

A Pakistani official in Kabul said on Saturday that authorities in the Logar province earlier this week detained an engineer, who is working on a Pakistan-funded hospital, for nearly five hours.

On May 24, a police squad visited the under-construction 100-bed Naeb Aminullah Khan Logari Hospital in Logar province to search and clear the structure ahead of an impending visit of the governor.

Will no longer seek Pakistan’s help in peace talks: Afghan president

As many as 45 Pakistani workers, including engineers, are involved in the construction of the $14 million hospital. Besides Pakistanis, around 90 Afghan nationals also work on the site.

The Pakistani official said police took issue with an electrical machine claiming that it could be used for terrorism.

“Pakistani contractors explained to the police officer that the machine is used only for electrical purposes but the police officer was adamant on his view and took the site engineer to the police station,” the Pakistani official said. He said the engineer, a contractor, later contacted the local administration in Logar and the governor. It was on their intervention that the engineer was released, but not before he was detained for five hours.

“Harassment of Pakistani nationals, who are working on various projects, is now common and has demoralised them,” the Pakistani official lamented. He added that the Afghan government is lax on ensuring security for workers.

Afghanistan losing interest in trade links with Pakistan

The official further pointed out that Pakistani workers and engineers have been killed and kidnapped in the past. “If the situation continues, we will be forced to abandon projects,” he warned. He also complained that Pakistani workers also face problems in securing Afghan visas and extensions in visas.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s top diplomat in Islamabad said that it was just one incident. “We should not generalise [based on] one isolated incident of a worker detained and then released within a few hours to all Pakistani workers in Afghanistan,” Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal told The Express Tribune.

He added that around 100,000 work in Afghanistan without any restrictions.

Pakistan is providing $500 million for capacity building in various sectors including education, health as well as building schools, hospitals, roads and other communications infrastructures of Afghanistan, according the Pakistan Embassy website.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • ali
    May 29, 2016 - 11:45AM

    Do not do that. Afghanis are out of their mind after they are recieving aids from India they have forget who they were for last 30 years and which country provided them shelter. But keep going smooth from your side and win their heart.Recommend

  • True
    May 29, 2016 - 11:57AM

    What?? Pak is building hospital for $18 million. Just invRecommend

  • True
    May 29, 2016 - 11:58AM

    What? Pak is bulding hospital for $18 million. Only this much they are investing. Recommend

  • abdullah
    May 29, 2016 - 12:28PM

    Lets kick out all the afghanis including the embassy staff here in pak.and seal the border.This will be good for them and they will understand what we have done for them and how the afghanis stabbed pakistan again and again.Recommend

  • May 29, 2016 - 12:33PM

    India should be happy to take it up and finish the project. Only hope the quality of the work so far is good. India shouldn’t be known for sub-standard work when its not even its fault.Recommend

  • Imtiyaz
    May 29, 2016 - 12:39PM

    Why is PAKISTAN spending money in Afghanistan when Pakistan needs these facilities, it should be PAKISTAN first and not to the ungrateful afghansRecommend

  • wiserneighbour
    May 29, 2016 - 12:44PM

    What else you expect? Pakistan is shielding the butchers of Afghan people for decades.Providing them with travel documents to travel around,hospital facilities ,even succession consultation.Recommend

  • SHAH
    May 29, 2016 - 12:51PM

    The handshake pic says it all; NS grabbing afghan’s hand with full warmth, wrapping his fingers around palm of this afghan…. and look at hand of this snake afghan, just a limp hand with no sincerity behind it.. It is time to throw the 2 million plus refugees back into Afghanistan.. Let US and Hindus-tan take care of these +2 million refugees food, health, housing and maternity .. as they are doing nothing but making babies. Recommend

  • Sad but True
    May 29, 2016 - 1:31PM

    In the first batch of refugees should be the Haqqani Network.Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    May 29, 2016 - 1:48PM

    @shah,learn history and comment.Who forced these Afghans to flee their own land? who created Taliban? what is India’s part in that?The monster called Taliban is the creation of US and Pakistan.Now sit and solve the crisis.Recommend

  • May 29, 2016 - 2:02PM

    @abdullah: “kick out all the afghanis including the embassy staff here in pak” – except our strategic assets meant for Afghanistan and India.Recommend

  • May 29, 2016 - 2:41PM

    Again a wrong decision….Pakistan should not abandon Afghan development projects instead it should abandon the Afghan peace process.Recommend

  • rama
    May 29, 2016 - 2:41PM

    @Abdullah: Pakistan lost 60000 lives because of this strategic assets

  • pratibha from australia
    May 29, 2016 - 2:43PM

    Has it occurred to anyone here that closing the boarder to Afghanistan will be counterproductive to Pakistan . The Talban will loose access to AfghanistanRecommend

  • Menon
    May 29, 2016 - 2:46PM

    Afghanistan and ROW welcomes Pakistan stopping its terror projects in Afghanistan and hopes Pakistan will do the same for other countries.

    Other than using terrorism for strategic depth and advantage, what other useful projects are Pakistan involved? Recommend

  • Menon
    May 29, 2016 - 2:50PM


    Isn’t it more like which country helped in the destruction of Afghanistan? Then using terrorists to enslave Afghanistan?

    Afghnaistan found out Paksitan’s real intentions and don’t want anything to do with Pakistan. President Ghani tried and Pakistan paid him back with deception and back stabbing.

    Glad to note, Afghanistan finally came to their senses and realized who their real friends are.Recommend

  • BigFact
    May 29, 2016 - 3:13PM

    Seriously? Pakistan gave a chance to the US by siding with them in the WoT. But they double crossed us by allowing Indians to set up anti-Pakistan terrorist camps along the Pak border. But now that Indian hand has been fully exposed, there’s no pressure on Pakistan. We are happily making progress, especially on CPEC.
    Even Iran, right after Modi’s visit, said it wants Pakistan in Chabahar. Seems they haven’t forgotten how India left them alone a few years back.Recommend

  • Raj
    May 29, 2016 - 3:27PM

    This will be a good decision for Afghans. Giving peanuts and reminding them again and again is not the right way. Giving aid to afghanistan does not mean that pakistan can send terrorists to afghanistan.Recommend

  • Caligula
    May 29, 2016 - 3:33PM

    Afghanistan did not see that coming – The revenge of an economic superpower !!Recommend

  • Hameed
    May 29, 2016 - 4:27PM

    Correct, Pakistan should abandon the AfghanTaliban project.Recommend

  • Lovkush Tripathi
    May 29, 2016 - 4:37PM

    In a nutshell pak afghan relationship is like India Nepal,China Mongolia,USA Mexico etcRecommend

  • May 29, 2016 - 5:21PM

    It would be better if Pakistan can build hospital inside Pakistan. Recommend

  • Jay
    May 29, 2016 - 5:30PM

    An economic superpower who needs alms to run its own house. Recommend

  • afzaal ansari
    May 29, 2016 - 6:18PM

    it’s not a good sign and the PAk authorities should adopt the inquisitive action against the disastrous act of Afghan Govt. oRecommend

  • BigFact
    May 29, 2016 - 7:34PM

    They are not terrorists and Pakistan is not sending them. They represent the biggest ethnic group in Afghanistan and ruled a few years back. The majority boycotted last elections yet control 70% of Afghanistan. The only supporter of terrorism in the region is India. Thankfully their plans are exposed and foiled. Any more mischief will irk China and eventually the US too.
    Pakistan zindabad. Recommend

  • Harry
    May 29, 2016 - 9:45PM

    Why would Afghans want hospitals when they can earn billions from war and destruction. The whole history of the country is based on war, loot and plunder.Recommend

  • $500 m
    May 29, 2016 - 9:58PM

    If true then $500 m is a huge sum. We need that more than the ungrateful Afghans. Invest in education in Pakistan.Recommend

  • adeel
    May 29, 2016 - 10:02PM

    for those who say Pakistan created Taliban….. YES Pakistan created Taliban with the help of US when soviet union invaded Afghanistan to save them from years of slavery from the Indian’s(now trying to portray themselves as the sole well-wisher of Afghanistan) buddy also give shelter to 6-million afghans refuges and after the defeat of soviet union

    Pakistan also provided the three point
    agenda including the “restructuring of
    Afghanistan, and taking back the
    weapons from the Taliban”

    but the US was so busy in celebrating the defeat of her long standing rival they back-up there bags and took the flight to home for party (guess) without looking back…..Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    May 29, 2016 - 10:08PM

    “It is time to throw the 2 million plus refugees back into Afghanistan..”

    Those Afghans you are calling “refugees” think that they are not refugees and are in their Pashtun land that rightfully and historically belongs to them. They do not recognize Durand Line. No Afghan, including Afghan taliban, and TTP has ever recognized Durand Line as the border and they claim that their territory extends much deep inside Pakistan, up to Attock in northern border of Punjab. Trying to push them back to Afghanistan will create huge problem for Pakistan. Recommend

  • Gohar
    May 29, 2016 - 10:41PM

    @Raj – USA:

    Only the terrorist do not recognize the border. While most Pakistani’s are tolerant of hard working Afghans its the Pashtuns themselves of KPK that want all Afghans kicked out (Ironically), The Durand line is here to stay and has been for over 60 years. Afghans can barely control their own country. As the old saying goes, Good Borders make for good neighbours. Recommend

  • Concluder
    May 29, 2016 - 11:59PM

    @Raj – USA:
    I come from that part of the country that hosts the most Afghans. We meet then everyday. None out of them ever claimed KPK to be their rightful land. Please do done research rather than believing everything RSS teaches. But we don’t blame you for the wrong line of thinking. They are likely teaching all kinds of stuff back in India.Recommend

  • Faizan Ali
    May 30, 2016 - 12:02AM

    This thing not started recently its since 2001 these things should have been done long ago..Recommend

  • NHA
    May 30, 2016 - 1:09AM

    Afghans have proven to be a non-grateful people. Pakistan hosted its refugees for over 20 years and here is what we get from them. It is Indian influence and the Northern Alliance Govt in Kabul is biased against Pakistan.

    No matter. Just wait for some time when Indians and Northern Alliance will turn Pushtuns into illiterate rural peasants and cart pushers. Recommend

  • basil
    May 30, 2016 - 1:41AM


    Yes India should finish the project, and guess who will inaugurate it will be Indias buddy the terrorist mullah fazlullah.,

  • pankaj
    May 30, 2016 - 2:58AM

    Leave Afghanistan and return them their land. Durand line has no sanctity.Recommend

  • Alhazen
    May 30, 2016 - 3:03AM

    Did you really read the above story carefully, if you read the above story, you will find out that almost 500 Million $ investment is being done right away. Beg pardon for my elite offensive, but not baseless statement.Another thing, you seem to be more like Indian minded person, some of them kinda loves to make “Anti Pakistani” statements,which is showing the cheapness,certainly there should be no doubt at all, on this account.Recommend

  • Popat
    May 30, 2016 - 3:18AM

    @SHAH: n return the money u took
    with interest.Recommend

  • May 30, 2016 - 5:14AM

    There are hindu trolls under the pay of Shiv Sena, RSS,..writing comments here
    under Muslim names. It becomes so obvious.
    It does not take a brain surgeon to to discern this fact.Recommend

  • Abdul Awaal
    May 30, 2016 - 6:18AM

    Are these projects for terrorists ? Recommend

  • Concluder
    May 30, 2016 - 7:33AM

    Totally agreed about the Indian trolls here. But we could tolerance even that, if:
    1. They have something positive to contribute rather than only trying to spread their negativity about Pakistan, which 99% of them do.
    2. They allow Pakistanis to comment on their news sites. I’ve tried posting decent comments on Indian news sites. But if I say anything logical or pro-Pakistan, it is always deleted.
    Well-done ET. But please exclude such negative minded Indians in future.
    Regards. Recommend

  • NHA
    May 30, 2016 - 10:14AM

    @pankaj: No sanctity after over 100 years?? No one in this era of sovereign state system questions borders. Border was settled in 1893 and reconfirmed on multiple occasions, including in agreements concluded in 1905, 1919, 1921, and 1930.

    Better focus on good relations and welfare of people who are languishing in poverty and ignorance. Pakistan is a benign and magnanimous state. Work with it to build a prosperous future. Recommend

  • Abbassin
    May 30, 2016 - 10:32AM

    @wiserneighbour: Yes, indeed we are shielding 3.5 Million of them for the last Thirty odd years. Advice to you, be a good neighbor and take all of them – it will not make much difference to you, after all you are already 1.2 Billion.Recommend

  • observer
    May 30, 2016 - 10:36AM

    @$500 m:

    “If true then $500 m is a huge sum. We need that more than the ungrateful Afghans. Invest in education in Pakistan.”

    It is not true. If at all, it is Pak Rupees 500M and not dollars. Pakistan that begs and borrows money from every country and world financial institutions just don’t have $500M to give to Afghanistan. If Pakistan had this much money, it would have used it to buy the 8 F-16 fighter jets that the Americans refused to give free.Recommend

  • Sad but True
    May 30, 2016 - 10:37AM

    This is the tragedy of Pakistan. Liberal Pakistanis are called RSS agents. And yes, one has to have a brain before going to a surgeon.Recommend

  • Davis
    May 30, 2016 - 2:18PM

    Pakistanis milked the world especially USA once for creating Taliban and now milking for eliminating Taliban! Pakistani Nation is surviving on blood money they received in lieu of murdering innocent Afghani lives, what a shameless folks! Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    May 30, 2016 - 2:53PM

    Most of all, Pakistan should abandon the ill-conceived strategic depth ‘project’Recommend

  • someone
    May 30, 2016 - 7:45PM

    Pashtuns of both sides should make a Pakhtoon Kwah, a new country with territory of KPK and some of Afghanistan so that they can do whatever they want in there. Recommend

  • leela4fun
    May 31, 2016 - 12:42AM

    That $500M figure needs to be scrutinized. More likely Pakistan would have billed the US for that as CSF.Recommend

  • Demril Shaikh
    May 31, 2016 - 11:28AM

    Indians have nuthing better to do than commenting on Pakistani articles..go provide bathrooms to the 70% of your deprived public and stop bragging like ure a superpower…Recommend

  • Indian
    Jun 1, 2016 - 1:23PM

    @Demril Shaikh, Indians are far better off than you Pakistanis who just dreams on competing with its larger adversary in-lieu of getting humiliated by all and sundry! Grow-up dude. Recommend

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