Afghan candidate Abdullah Abdullah seeks Pakistan cooperation

By AFP
Published: June 13, 2014
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Presidential candidate Dr Abdullah Abdullah. PHOTO: AFP

Presidential candidate Dr Abdullah Abdullah. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: Afghan presidential front-runner Abdullah Abdullah said Thursday he wanted “good neighborly relations” with Pakistan, taking a conciliatory tone after accusations that Islamabad’s spy service tried to kill him.

Outgoing President Hamid Karzai’s National Security Council said that “foreign intelligence services”- a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan – were behind two blasts last week aimed at Abdullah in which 12 people were killed.

But Abdullah, speaking to a Washington think tank via Skype two days before the run-off election, said he would seek cooperation with Pakistan – which he noted has also experienced a series of deadly attacks.

“Today one harsh reality is that both countries are faced with the same challenges and it is in the interest of both countries to deal with it in a genuine spirit of good neighborly relations,” Abdullah told the Atlantic Council.

Abdullah said he also sought to work with Afghanistan’s other neighbours including India, whose warm relationship with Karzai has alarmed rival Pakistan.

Abdullah, an ophthalmologist turned foreign minister who lost a contested 2009 election to Karzai, placed first in the initial round of the latest election.

The candidate reiterated that he would sign an agreement with the United States that would allow Obama to maintain nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of most combat forces this year.

Karzai has refused to sign the agreement, saying it may allow US troops to enter Afghan homes.

Separately, Abdullah voiced hope that five Taliban who were released in a swap for captive US soldier Bowe Bergdahl would not return to the insurgency.

“Our main concern… about those who have been released is that they do not join the battlefield because those are amongst those criminals who have committed crime in a massive way against the Afghan people,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah said that previous Taliban militants released in goodwill gestures have returned to the fighting.

But he stopped short of criticizing President Barack Obama’s decision to free the five men in the exchange, which has come under intense fire from Republican lawmakers.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Timorlane
    Jun 13, 2014 - 1:13PM

    Show some dollars in profit for Sharif family business and they will do whatever they would be asked to

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  • Rex Minor
    Jun 13, 2014 - 1:58PM

    Abdullah willl be the suitable candidate for the post of foreign minster!!

    Rex Minor

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  • Patriotic Pakistani
    Jun 13, 2014 - 2:58PM

    Isn’t he the guy who blames Pakistan for every pin dropped in Afghanistan? Maybe he has realized that it is unwise to sour ties with a country which shares borders with Afghanistan.

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  • A Pakistanist
    Jun 13, 2014 - 4:11PM

    “Said he would seek co-operation with Pakistan.”

    Thats what Afghanistan is all about , for the last 20 years or more.

    Having the need to seek co-operation and taking not even a second to stab Pakistan with stupid accusations and negative goodwill.

    I have said this before , one day it will be possible to be at total peace with India , BUT NEVER EVER WITH THE AFGHANS ( OR EVEN IRANIANS ) !!!

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  • JD
    Jun 13, 2014 - 4:36PM

    Best wishes to Abdullah Abdullah.. and no thanks to Ashraf Ghani a previous banker and an UN adviser.

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  • unbelievable
    Jun 13, 2014 - 6:48PM

    Unlike Karsai he knows that chest thumping only gets you a sore chest. Nice gesture but he’s no dummy and his trust level on Pakistan will remain close to zero until Pakistan kicks out the Haqqani.

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  • PeaceMonger
    Jun 13, 2014 - 8:02PM

    You’d wish Mr.Abdullah. But don’t hold your breath. Pakistan dances to the beat of a different drum.

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  • baboy
    Jun 13, 2014 - 10:55PM

    @Timorlane:
    You forget very easy that the establishment is in charge and not NS.

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  • Message from Pakistan
    Jun 13, 2014 - 11:42PM

    Can we have an agreement over a 2 year period to humanely repatriate the 3 m Afghans in Pakistan.

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  • Adil Uddin
    Jun 14, 2014 - 3:19AM

    @Message from Pakistan:

    Buddy on this very website I saw Afghans even refusing to accept that 3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan are even in a foreign land since Durrand line is not accepted by many even after 67 years.

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