National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf on Thursday said that there was no truth to the allegations that Pakistan helped the Taliban forces capture Panjshir – the last bastion of resistance against the group.
In an interview with CNN, the national security adviser dismissed the reports as propaganda against Pakistan, saying the accusations were linked to “fake news network” created by the Indian government.
Journalist Becky Anderson questioned the adviser, saying the anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan and Iran’s foreign affairs ministry condemned the “foreign interference” in Afghanistan that reportedly resulted in the fall of Panjshir.
"Did the Pakistani army support the Taliban attack on anti-Taliban forces in Panjshir using drones and/or other weaponry?" asked Anderson. "It's preposterous is all I can say," replied the NSA.
To corroborate his point, Moeed showed the CNN journalist screenshots of Indian media outlets, saying they had been spreading fake news about Pakistan.
"This is mainstream Indian media showing an American jet flying over Wales in the United Kingdom and presenting it as Pakistan doing something in Panjshir," the NSA said while pointing to the paper.
He said Pakistan had been saying for a long time that “project Afghanistan” was failing due to corruption and internal rifts in the Afghanistan government, yet the world saw Pakistan as a problem because the international community didn’t want to acknowledge its failure.
India has spent millions of dollars in creating a fake news network against Pakistan, the NSA added.
ISI chief in Kabul
In response to a question regarding Pakistan’s spy chief General Faiz Hameed’s visit to Kabul ahead of the formation of the new government in Afghanistan, the NSA said that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief visited Afghanistan to ensure Pakistan’s “borders are secure”.
He would visit again because Afghanistan shares a border with Pakistan and it was a part of engaging the new regime.
Yusuf went on to ask the CNN anchorperson, "Why did the CIA director go to Afghanistan much before my ISI chief went there?"
He termed reports of Islamabad's involvement a conspiracy theory, saying they were baseless as the ISI chief spoke to the media during that visit that showed he was not on any "secret mission".
Pakistan wants peace
Pakistan wanted peace in the region, particularly in Afghanistan as it should be a priority of all stakeholders and key partners, the NSA told the CNN journalist.
He warned that instead of waiting for security and humanitarian crises to arise, the global powers should work with Afghanistan to prevent it.
Moeed said that enemies of the country will not be allowed to destabilise Pakistan. "We will not compromise on the integrity and sovereignty of our country."
The NSA said that the world should establish contacts with the Taliban for lasting peace in Afghanistan.
By leaving Afghanistan alone, the mistakes of the 1990s should not be repeated, he underlined. Moeed said that Pakistan was facing problems due to instability in Afghanistan.
"Since 9/11, Pakistan has borne the brunt with more than 80,000 casualties and more than $150 billion in economic losses, while 3.5 million people have been displaced due to the terrorist insurgency," he noted.
Moeed Yusuf said that, “We are committed to peace in Afghanistan and will continue to work for peace and stability, but only under the international legal framework.” He said there will be no compromise on the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan as it was paramount.
Moeed said Pakistan was committed to securing its borders due to instability in Afghanistan and preventing terrorists from entering its territory. He further added that Pakistan is providing all possible assistance to the international community in the evacuation operation.
He said the Taliban had assured the world that Afghanistan’s territory will not be allowed to be used against any country. He said that Afghans and Pakistanis are brothers and their relationship spanned over centuries.
(With input from APP)
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