New Delhi: Afghan ambassador to the US Roya Rahmani has lambasted Pakistan for linking the current situation in Kashmir with the ongoing peace efforts in Afghanistan. Calling the statements by her Pakistan counterpart ‘reckless, unwarranted and irresponsible’, Rahmani said,”The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly questions the assertion made by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan, that the ongoing tensions in Kashmir could potentially affect Afghanistan’s peace process.”
Stating that Kashmir is ‘a bilateral issue’ between India and Pakistan, the Afghan diplomat asserted that her country believes Pakistan’s motive and insistence to purposely tie Afghanistan to the Kashmir issue is a deliberate attempt to prolong the violence happening on Afghan soil.
“Any such statements that link the evolving situation in Kashmir to the Afghan peace efforts are reckless, unwarranted and irresponsible,” Rahmani said in a lengthy statement. “It is a poor excuse used by Pakistan to justify its inaction against the Taliban and to avoid taking a decisive stance against the militant group,” she said.
Upping the ante against Islamabad further, Rahmani said that the remark made by the Pakistani Ambassador is a ‘misleading’. “There is no threat from Afghanistan to Pakistan. The Afghan government sees no credible reason for Pakistan to maintain tens of thousands of military troops on its western frontier,” she said. “On the contrary, Afghan stability is frequently threatened by Pakistan-based, sanctioned and supported militant and terrorist groups,” Rahmani added.
She alleged that these (terrorist) groups operate openly from Pakistan-governed spaces and regularly spill over into Afghanistan. “Pakistani authorities should address this problem by undertaking a sincere and forceful law and order measure through police actions inside Pakistan,” she stated.
Rahmani said the statement by her Pakistani counterpart runs contrary to the positive and constructive engagement Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on his recent visit to the country.
Notably, Pakistan, after not getting enough support from the United States on Kashmir row, has threatened to redeploy its troops from the Afghanistan border to that of Kashmir. While talking to the editorial board of the New York Times, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed Khan, had raised this possibility.
“India’s crackdown on Kashmir, on Pakistan’s eastern border with India, would not have come at a worse time for us. We have our hands full on the western border. If the situation escalates on the eastern border, we will have to undertake redeployments, said Khan to the editorial board of New York Times.
Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s decision to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Khan said it has “raised tensions in Pakistan. Pakistan as a punching bag sells in India. There has been little communication between the two neighbours over the past week and the “crisis is going to get worse”.
(With inputs from agencies)