News Analysis |
On Wednesday, the Afghan Foreign Ministry criticized Pakistani Ambassador Zahid Nasrullah’s comments that an Indian military on Pakistan would undermine the Afghan-Taliban peace process and the stability of the region. Pakistani Ambassador Nasrullah was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, and after the meeting, the Afghan Foreign Office issued a statement, criticizing his comments for being contradictory to “Pakistan’s commitments with regards to realizing peace in Afghanistan”.
Earlier, the Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister, Idrees Zaman tweeted about summoning Ambassador Nasrullah and handing him a “diplomatic demarche”. Shortly after, the Afghan Foreign Ministry issued its statement, calling upon Pakistan to “act upon its commitments with regards to Afghanistan” and “refrain from making irrelevant statements that do not help solve any problem”.
Only last month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had accused Pakistan of harboring militant organizations, stating that the “keys to war are in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Quetta”.
Amrullah Saleh, the Afghan Interior Minister took to Twitter to express his views on Ambassador Nasrullah’s remarks in a strongly-worded tweet. He wrote, “Pakistani ambassador to Kabul has warned that if India retaliates the Kashmir terror attack his country would take revenge from Afghanistan. This is an act of blackmail, bullying & cowardice.” While referring to India, Saleh wrote, “Dear India we are able to take care of ourselves so don’t bow to terror and do what is right.”
Earlier while tweeting to condemn the Pulwama attack in Indian-occupied Kashmir, Saleh had again made a sly reference to Pakistan, stating that the attack against the Indian CRFP Jawans was a “copy-paste of what Pakistan backed terror groups do in Afghanistan”.
Earlier this month, Afghanistan spokesperson to the United Nations, Nazifullah Salarzai presented a letter to the United Nation Security Council, accusing Pakistan of undermining the “sovereignty of Afghanistan” by inviting representatives of the Afghan Taliban to hold talks with the US in Islamabad.
The letter put forward Afghanistan’s apprehensions over Pakistan’s actions of inviting the Taliban representatives to travel to Islamabad, which would give “official recognition and legitimization of an armed group that poses a serious threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan”. The letter also lamented that the Ghani-led government was not consulted on this meeting despite the fact that the members of the Taliban are under sanctions of the UNSC. Moreover, the letter accused Pakistan of giving “sanctuary to terror organizations that attack Afghanistan, including the Haqqani Network”
Kabul Maligns Pakistan for “Inviting Taliban to Islamabad”
TOLOnews reports that Pakistan’s Ambassador Nasrullah Khan negated all reports of a meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Taliban, and stressed that Pakistan has always been supportive of the peace process. He made it clear that the government of Pakistan never mentioned the Taliban’s visit to Islamabad.
Indian media outlets are increasingly publishing reports of Afghanistan’s hardened stance against Pakistan over the Pulwama attack, a stance that is also noted in the recent tweets made by several key Afghan officials.
Despite the fact that the Taliban have postponed their trip to Islamabad, the Afghan government and officials continue to raise the issue of Pakistan’s failure to “coordinate with Kabul”. Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sibghat Ahmadi is quoted by TOLOnews, “It is a clear violation of the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”. He stated that sovereignty is “our red line”, and “the Pakistanis did not coordinate this with us”, which he deemed as an act that symbolizes the “recognition of the Taliban”, hence, Afghanistan intends to take “deal with the issue from various forums”.
The Afghan government and security forces have hardened their stance against the Taliban, and reports of militants being killed across the country are emerging. On Wednesday, Mohammad Umer Daudzai, President Ghani’s Special Representative for Regional Affairs for Consensus on Peace announced the possibility of holding “direct talks between Afghan government and the Taliban”. While speaking at a conference by the Human Rights Commission, Daudzai stated that the talks are expected to begin in the upcoming months.
Only last month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had accused Pakistan of harboring militant organizations, stating that the “keys to war are in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Quetta”. A similar stance has been taken by Afghan representative at the United Nations, Nazifullah Salarzai, who has repeatedly addressed the General Assembly in statements that implicate Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism and terror organizations.
Afghanistan Joins in India’s Anti-Pakistan Propaganda?
Despite Prime Minister Khan’s repeated statements promising Pakistan’s part in restoring peace in Afghanistan through Islamabad’s effort in the US-Taliban peace process, the Ghani-led Afghan government has always sought to malign these efforts. Indian media outlets are increasingly publishing reports of Afghanistan’s hardened stance against Pakistan over the Pulwama attack, a stance that is also noted in the recent tweets made by several key Afghan officials.
It is an attempt to put pressure on Pakistan by India and Afghanistan. It is evident that the Ghani-led Afghan government wants Pakistan to support them as opposed to the Taliban.
Speaking to the Global Village Space about Afghan efforts to malign Pakistan, (R) Lt. General Talat Masood said, “It is evident that the Ghani-led government accuses Pakistan of being supportive of the Taliban and unsupportive of their rule. By giving the Taliban a stage in the country, Pakistan has garnered the disapproval of the Afghan government”.
“Pakistan is playing a very important role in the negotiations between the Americans and the Taliban, and all these elements add up to fuel the animosity as they go against Ashraf Ghani and his government. Even the US is now neglecting and ignoring Ghani’s pleas,” noted (R) Lt. General Masood.
While commenting on the Indian media circulations on Afghanistan and Iran’s solidarity with India against Pakistan’s alleged role in spreading terror, (R) Lt. General Talat Masood said, “The reality is that all three countries are criticizing Pakistan for one thing or the other. It is an attempt to put pressure on Pakistan by India and Afghanistan. It is evident that the Ghani-led Afghan government wants Pakistan to support them as opposed to the Taliban”.
Mina Jahangir with additional input by News Desk.