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Is Afghanistan NSA Hamdullah Mohib trying to nullify peace efforts?

Afghanistan National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib is deliberately attempting to nullify peace efforts. Hamdullah Mohib accused Pakistan of interfering in Afghanistan's internal matter.

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Pakistan on Friday strongly condemned the statement made by Afghanistan National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib accusing Pakistan of interfering in Afghanistan’s internal matter and termed it a deliberate attempt to nullify peace efforts.

This is the second time Pakistan has had to issue a strong rejoinder to the Afghan NSA in recent weeks. The latest war of words was triggered by Mohib’s tweet, accusing Pakistan of interfering in the internal matters of Afghanistan.

On June 5, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had lashed out at Mohib for his comments against Pakistan and called on him to “reflect and correct” his behaviour.

Responding to media queries, the Foreign Office spokesperson strongly condemned the “baseless insinuations” by the Afghan NSA and noted that Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process has been widely acknowledged by the international community.

Pakistan has conveyed to the leadership in Afghanistan it will no longer conduct official business with Kabul’s top national security chief because of his recent “abusive outburst” against Islamabad, highly placed officials and diplomatic sources confirmed to Voice of America (VOA) on the last Friday.

The comments have severed the ties between the two countries leading to serious diplomatic crisis. Sources told GVS Pakistan has officially conveyed to Afghan leadership that there can be no talks with the current NSA because of his lack of respect for diplomatic norms.

The latest trigger came from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, who routinely accuses Pakistan of supporting and directing the Taliban’s insurgency in Afghanistan, charges Islamabad rejects.

In a public speech earlier this month in eastern Nangarhar province, next to the Pakistani border, Mohib not only repeated his allegations but called Pakistan a “brothel house.”

His remarks outraged leaders in Islamabad, who denounced them, saying they “debased all norms of interstate communication.”

A senior Pakistani official privy to the matter told the media outlet on condition of anonymity his government lodged a strong protest with the Afghan side and conveyed “deep resentment” in Pakistan over Mohib’s “undignified” remarks.

The official said Kabul has been told Islamabad, henceforth, would not hold bilateral engagements with the Afghan national security adviser. It has also been conveyed “by our side that Afghan side is not serious in engaging with Pakistan, but only in the blame game and degrading Pakistan’s sincere efforts,” the official added.

Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh while addressing a public gathering in the southeastern border province of Khost earlier this week indirectly confirmed Pakistan’s assertions.

Read more: US thanks Pakistan for aiding in Afghanistan peace process

In a video clip from the speech posted on social media, Saleh asserted that “a Western leader” recently telephoned Ghani and told him that Pakistan does not want to work with a “Pashtun leader in Afghanistan.” The vice president did not identify the foreign leader, nor did he name Mohib but the Afghan national security adviser is an ethnic Pashtun.

Diplomatic sources confirmed to the outlet that Pakistan’s military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, during his visit to Kabul this month, had raised the issue in his meeting with Ghani in the presence of Nick Carter, Britain’s chief of the defense staff.

Mohib addressed a news conferences in Kabul Saturday where he was asked to respond to reports that Islamabad has ended official dealings with him. “My team has seen media reports attributed to anonymous individuals. As of now, the government of Afghanistan has not been officially intimated about the issue,” the adviser said.

“The Afghan government will respond to it through relevant diplomatic channels whenever the information is formally conveyed to it,” Mohib added.

An official Pakistani military statement following the May 10 meeting in Kabul confirmed it was held in the presence of Carter.

Read More: Despite tremendous favours, Afghans find it hard to trust Pakistan. Here’s why!

“Matters of mutual interest, current developments in the Afghan peace process, enhanced bilateral security and defense cooperation and need for effective border management between the two brotherly countries were discussed,” the statement said, but it did not say anything about the controversy stemming from Mohib’s remarks, reported The News.

Sources also confirmed to GVS that Pakistan is careful in its response to the Afghan NSA because of India’s active involvement in the country. “Pakistan shall remain careful while responding to any uncalled for comment by the current Afghan NSA as it aims to ensure smooth completion of peace talks,” the source said.

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