Pakistan on Sunday rejected allegations by a former Canadian minister on the cross-border movement of Taliban fighters, terming it “unwarranted” and “misleading.”
Chris Alexander, who was minister of citizenship and immigration from July 2013 to November 2015, in a tweet claimed that Taliban fighters are waiting to cross into Afghanistan from Pakistan.
“Anyone still denying that Pakistan is engaged in an act of aggression against Afghanistan is complicit in proxy war and war crimes,” said Alexander, who also served as Canada’s first residential ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005.
Islamabad termed Alexander’s assertion “a complete lack of understanding of the issue as well as ignorance of facts on ground.”
“We strongly condemn the unwarranted comments by former Canadian Minister Chris Alexander making unfounded and misleading assertions about Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudri said in a series of tweets.
“Now when the world has acknowledged what Pakistan and [Prime Minister] Imran Khan have consistently maintained about there being no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and the need for an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement, such gratuitous commentary is deplorable,” he went on to say.
The matter, Chaudri added, has been taken up with the Canadian side.
“We have urged the Canadian authorities to take steps to address this motivated and malicious smear campaign,” he maintained.
The matter has been taken up with the Canadian side. We have urged the Canadian authorities to take steps to address this motivated and malicious smear campaign. 3/3
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) August 1, 2021
The Taliban have launched a sweeping onslaught across Afghanistan following the final phase of the US pullout from the war-torn country, with district after district falling to the militia.
Kabul accuses Islamabad of patronizing the Taliban. Pakistan denies the charge and accuses Washington of “messing it up” in Afghanistan through its hasty pullout.
In December 2018, Pakistan arranged rare direct talks between Washington and the Taliban, paving the way for the Doha peace deal between the two sides.
Pakistan also facilitated the landmark first round of direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Islamabad in July 2015.
Pakistan enjoys a degree of influence over the Taliban mainly because of the families of several militia leaders which have long been residing in Pakistan.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk