Neighbourly action: Kabul wants Islamabad to throttle Taliban funding

Published: May 30, 2015
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Afghan minister says Pakistan should deprive group of its ‘sanctuaries’. PHOTO: AFP

Afghan minister says Pakistan should deprive group of its ‘sanctuaries’. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

Afghanistan wants Pakistan to throttle the Afghan Taliban’s terror funds and deprive it of sanctuaries in Pakistan if the orthodox militant group refuses to join the long-awaited Afghan reconciliation process.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Afghanistan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai said Kabul expects Islamabad to take practical steps in line with PM Nawaz Sharif’s recent remarks in which he publicly condemned the Taliban’s attacks as acts of terrorism.

“Remarks made by the PM Nawaz [during his recent visit to Afghanistan] had encouraged Afghans as his message was very clear that the enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan. We hope that Pakistan will make progress on its commitments with Afghanistan,” Hekmat Karzai said.

Hekmat, the cousin of former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, was in Pakistan to co-chair a meeting of senior officials at the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process this week. He also held bilateral meetings with Pakistan and joined a trilateral sitting with Chinese and Pakistani officials.

When asked what Kabul expects Islamabad to do if the Taliban reject Pakistan’s suggestion of reconciliation, he said Afghanistan believes Pakistan can arrange direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

“But in case Pakistan cannot do it, then our request to Pakistan is very clear: we want Pakistan to curb their channels of funding, destroy their safe havens and stop any other support to them,” he said.

He said he was hopeful that Pakistan would do a lot in the peace process. “Pakistan can help us in ending the war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has suffered a lot and Pakistan has also realised that this should end now,” he said.

Undeclared war

Karzai is of the opinion that Pakistan and Afghanistan have been involved in an “undeclared war” for the past 20 years but Kabul has now opened a door to bridge the trust gap.

“An undeclared war between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been going on for 20 years. Pakistan has agreed with this concept. So the first point is that we want to begin a process with Pakistan that pushes both countries to peace and trust.

“The second point is we want peace with those groups and specific personalities who are fighting in Afghanistan and we have told Pakistan very clearly to arrange talks between those people and us,” Karzai said.

When asked whether or not Afghanistan’s longstanding complaints about Pakistan have ended, he said complaints are still there but Afghanistan had opened a new chapter in the relationship.

“We want to move forward together,” he added.

Role of China

The Afghan minister said China has promised it will help Kabul in the reconciliation process amid growing contacts between the Taliban and Chinese officials. The Taliban negotiators visited China in November and another round of their talks is also expected next month, Afghan sources said.

“China’s political support is the most important. We have requested them to help us in the peace and reconciliation efforts. We are very hopeful about their commitments and cooperation in political area,” Hekmat Karzai said.

“We need China help in the peace process. We are confident that China will honour its commitments,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2015.

 

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Reader Comments (13)

  • SEAsian
    May 30, 2015 - 8:45AM

    The new dispensation in Kabul lacks the experience to understand realpolitik. This won’t happen in another 100 years.Recommend

  • Realitybites
    May 30, 2015 - 9:04AM

    “We want Pakistan to curb their channels of funding, destroy their safe havens and stop any other support to them”

    Back to square one.. another karzai joined in to lambasted pak!Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    May 30, 2015 - 10:06AM

    20 years war was arranged by referee who paid both side- whom to blame minister.Recommend

  • Khurasani
    May 30, 2015 - 10:16AM

    We threw them out of the government, we chased them and killed them and their families, we helped the foreign invaders against them, but we still lost.

    We don’t want to back out from our support of the foreign invaders, we will not give them their government back, but we still want them to talk to us, let us rule.

    @SEAsian yes you are right “This won’t happen in another 100 years” even beyond.Recommend

  • Nasir
    May 30, 2015 - 10:42AM

    The only good Taliban is a dead Taliban . Our leaders both political and military nurtured extremist elements in Pakistan over the last 30 years – we thought we could control these elements for our own gain such as strategic depth, the sad truth is we were wrong!. We created a Frankenstein monster and we have lost control Recommend

  • افغان ميهن
    May 30, 2015 - 2:52PM

    @ SEAsian

    The new political dispensation in Kabul is merely exercising a new approach and a public relations campaign, knowing all too well that the more things change the more they stay the same. Political rhetoric has nothing to do with realpolitik.Recommend

  • ISI
    May 30, 2015 - 5:19PM

    Sorry, we can’t hold pocket money away from our own children.Recommend

  • Khattak
    May 30, 2015 - 6:06PM

    Taliban do not want to talk. They are busy with their spring offensive by massacring Afghan civilians on daily basis. So what are we waiting for. Start with packing families of Quetta & Peshawar shuras & extend the operation zerb Azb to Haqanis. Afghans have done their bit. It is our turn to do our bit. Otherwise, Ghani will double the damage of Karzai. Recommend

  • fedup
    May 30, 2015 - 10:14PM

    In other words …… rhetoric is nice now it’s time to do what you say. Pakistan has no credibility – time to start to repair that image.Recommend

  • AKA
    May 31, 2015 - 12:46AM

    why you do first Recommend

  • Anjaan
    May 31, 2015 - 2:04AM

    The Pakistani leadership must understand that if Afghanistan continues to burn, Pakistan will burn too … Pakistan can not, on one hand, insulate itself from Afghanistan and on the other hand have the strategic depth it seeks … !!Recommend

  • May 31, 2015 - 4:17AM

    All madrasas should register and regulate by some regulatory authority and their accounts must be audited. Its time to take action.Recommend

  • Naveed
    May 31, 2015 - 6:32AM

    Good luck Afghans. Our GHQ boys will change its warrior policy and soon start flying pigeons and sloganeering Bhai-Bhai with our neighbors.Recommend

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