Large protest held outside Pakistan embassy in Kabul

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Dozens of supporters for ex-Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh on Friday staged a protest demonstration outside the Pakistani embassy in Kabul, and chanted anti-Pakistan slogans.

“The demonstrators used abusive language against Pakistan,” embassy spokesperson Akhtar Munir told media.

Former Afghan intelligence chief deputy General (retd) Esa, led the rally to protest against the recent bomb attacks in Kabul and Kandahar, which killed nearly 60 people, including five UAE diplomats. The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack but denied hand in the Kandahar bombing.

The embassy spokesperson said Saleh’s supporters organised the anti-Pakistan rally because of his “strong links with India”. “The diplomatic staff could not go to the embassy due to security concerns,” Munir said. The demonstrators dispersed after staging the hour-long protest at a close proximity of the embassy compound, he added.

Munir said the embassy officials contacted senior Afghan administration for security as the demonstrators came close to the embassy building. “Pakistanis have never demonstrated outside the Afghan embassy in Islamabad or its diplomatic missions despite terrorist attacks in Pakistan,” he said.

Pakistan maintains that the militants operate from the Afghan side of the border as they were forced to flee following Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

-Weak security-

Analysts in Afghanistan believe the recent attacks in Kabul, Kandahar and Helmand exposed the weakness of the Afghan security agencies as all the attacks were carried out in security zones.

Some Afghans also questioned the role of the Kandahar police chief, General Raziq, who disappeared from the guest house at the time of the suicide bombing in Kandahar. The UAE ambassador and Kandahar governor were among the injured.