Pakistan has asked Kabul not to allow India’s top intelligence agency, the Research Analysis Wing (RAW), to operate from Afghan territory against Pakistan’s interest.
On their recent visit to Afghanistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif asked Afghan authorities to stop RAW from creating unrest in Pakistan, Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said on Thursday.
“Pakistan conveyed its concerns to Afghanistan that Indian spy agency must not use Afghan territory to create instability in the country,” said Qazi Khalilullah.
Premier Sharif and General Raheel Sharif visited Kabul last week to discuss several issues particularly how to establish peace in volatile Afghanistan. Top leadership of both the neighbouring countries pledged: “Kabul’s foe is Islamabad’s enemy and Islamabad’s friend is Kabul’s friend.”
“Pakistan supports the Afghan-led peace process as it is beneficial for Afghanistan, the region as well as for us,” Khalilullah said. Responding to questions at a weekly press briefing, he reiterated that Islamabad supports Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process. The country’s top military commanders expressed serious concerns over RAW’s involvement in whipping up terrorism in the country.
About alleged involvement of RAW in Pakistan’s unrest, Foreign Office spokesperson further said there have been reports of Indian intelligence agencies’ involvement in Pakistan’s affairs in the past as well. Regarding the Karachi atrocity in which 45 members of the Ismailia community perished, Khalilullah said: “Investigations are still going on and it is difficult to determine who is behind this bone-chilling incident.”
When pointed out that the ultra-extremist Middle Eastern terrorist group, the Islamic State, and its affiliate Jundullah have claimed responsibility for the bus attack in Karachi, the Spokesperson said: “The Islamic State has no footprints in Pakistan but our security forces stand alert to meet any threat.”
English leaflets left in the bus were headlined: “Advent of the Islamic State!” and used derogatory Arabic words, blaming the community for “barbaric atrocities … in the Levant, Iraq and Yemen”.
However, Foreign Office ruled out the presence of Daish in Pakistan. Earlier in February, Secretary Foreign Affairs Aizaz Chaudhry had told a Senate panel that the militant group posed a threat to the country. “The government is on alert to the IS threat in the region,” the Foreign Secretary had said.
About Indian claim that Dawood Ibrahim is residing in Pakistan, the Spokesperson did not comment beyond saying, “we have already taken a position on this issue”.
Pakistan welcomes the cricket diplomacy move as India agrees to play a cricket series with Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. Sports brings public closer to each other—it is better way to stay closer, said Foreign Office Spokesperson. “Such events are helpful in bringing the peoples of the two countries closer. We welcome positive statements from India.”
Replying to another question, the Spokesperson said Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations stipulate that we will not allow our respective territories to be used against each other
In his opening remarks, the Spokesperson clarified that the Independent Monitoring Board did not have any discussion relating to travel restrictions on Pakistan. Though we have seen the media reports about the second dose of Polio drops being administered to those travelling through Wahga-Attari border, Foreign Office did not receive any complaint from Pakistani visitors, nor has the Indian side approached us in this regard, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2015.