Pakistan accuses Afghan official of spoiling peace process

OPN_181116 Khyber Pass
Neighbours Pakistan and Afghanistan share religious, ethnic, and cultural ties. Image Credit: Getty Images

Islamabad: Pakistan condemned “unwarranted remarks” by Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib and accused him of spoiling progress on peace talks.

“The repeated impertinent and unwarranted remarks by the Afghan NSA are deeply concerning as they are tantamount to a calculated attempt by his office to disregard and nullify the progress in the peace process,” Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) said. The official statement came in response to Mohib’s comments on the Pakistani foreign minister’s recent interview with Afghanistan’s Tolonews.

Afghan NSA in a tweet had claimed that Qureshi’s interview “comes as Taliban launches violent offensives against Afghan people across the country, we know how and why they continue to be enabled to do this. Qureshi is either uninformed, ignorant or an accomplice”.

Pakistan ministry of foreign affairs recalled that “Pakistan’s role in the Afghan Peace Process has been widely acknowledged by the international community”.

The FO statement emphasised that the two neighbours had previously agreed in Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) to avoid public blame-game and use official channels to discuss issues in bilateral relations.

“Statements that erode mutual trust should be avoided,” it added.

Severed ties

Pakistan’s official response came after continuous slanderous remarks against Islamabad by Afghan NSA. Pakistan’s foreign minister, earlier this month, publicly stated that his ministry had severed ties with Afghan NSA over abusive remarks that undermined Pakistan’s role in regional peace efforts.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi recently said in a public speech that Afghanistan’s national security adviser is “playing the role of a spoiler” in the Afghan peace process.

“No Pakistani will talk to you or shake hands with you until you stop derogatory remarks” against Pakistan, he said, urging to reconsider his stance.

Meaningful contribution

Meanwhile, Qureshi met Chairman Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Abdullah Abdullah, on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey, on Friday. Highlighting Pakistan’s meaningful contribution to facilitate the direct talks between US and the Taliban as well as the Afghan parties, Qureshi urged the Afghan leaders to expedite progress in intra-Afghan negotiations.

The Pakistani foreign minister said the progress in the Afghan peace process was critical to reduce space for spoilers, who did not wish to see the return of peace in the region.

“Negative statements and blame-game only serve to vitiate the environment and strengthen the hand of spoilers who wished to derail the peace process,” he said.