21 January 2019

Centre slams Pakistan after it says India has no role to play in Afghanistan

Rubbishing Pakistan’s contention that India has “no role” in Afghanistan, New Delhi on Friday made it clear that Islamabad could not decide the position of another country in regional or global affairs.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal, while responding to a question on US President Donald Trump’s remarks about India playing a role in the war-torn country, had said on Thursday: “India has no role in Afghanistan.”

Reacting to Faisal’s comments, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “It is not for Pakistan to decide as to what role another country has in regional or global affairs. Pakistan also cannot decide on behalf of an independent and sovereign country, Afghanistan, and dictate to them as to how to conduct their foreign policy.”

Kumar said Pakistan should instead “introspect its own role and responsibility in the precarious situation in Afghanistan; put an end to all kind of support to cross-border terrorism from territories under Pakistan’s control, and join international efforts to bring inclusive peace to Afghanistan”.

Both Kabul and New Delhi blame Islamabad for backing terror groups such as the Taliban and Haqqani Network that are active in Afghanistan. India has also conveyed its concerns about Pakistan’s “destabilising role” in Afghanistan to the US and other allies.

Concern has grown in New Delhi over the past few weeks over Islamabad’s efforts to shape the process for talks with the Taliban, whose leadership is based in Pakistan.

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