Pakistan on Thursday strongly rejected Afghan allegations that it was supporting insurgents to launch terrorist attacks in the war-torn country, warning that such ‘baseless’ accusations could undermine ties between the two neighbours.
“It is deeply dismaying that the spate of Afghan allegations, maligning Pakistan’s national security institutions, continues unabated,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam at her weekly briefing here.
Earlier this week, Afghanistan accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban militants by increasing the presence of its military personnel and advisers among terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
Tasnim categorically dismissed Afghan allegations of involvement in terrorist attacks, insurgent activities or cross-border shelling. “We also firmly reject any statements casting aspersions on Pakistan’s commitment to fight terrorism,” she added.
“As we have repeatedly emphasised, terrorism is a common enemy afflicting the whole region and concerted efforts must be made by all sides for combating it effectively.”
She also cautioned that levelling of baseless allegations would serve no useful purpose adding it would only benefit the enemies of peace and undermine the prospects of a cordial relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
She maintained that the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb was the clearest reflection of Pakistan’s resolve to fight terrorism without any discrimination or distinction.
“The operation is dictated by Pakistan’s own national interest, and is backed by national consensus. To ensure optimal results, it is imperative that necessary steps are taken by the Afghan authorities on their side of the border in blocking the fleeing terrorists and eliminating terrorist sanctuaries on Afghan territory,” she emphasised.
Pakistan condemns drone strike
The spokesperson also condemned the latest US drone strike that took place in Datta Khel, North Waziristan on Wednesday.
“Pakistan regards such strikes as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. These strikes also have a negative impact on the government’s efforts to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and the region. We therefore expect immediate cessation of such strikes,” she said.
OIC meeting on Gaza
Tasnim said Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz will attend the ‘Expanded Extraordinary’ meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Executive Committee next week in Jeddah on the situation in Gaza.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2014.