–Says Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua will head a Pakistani delegation visiting Kabul on Saturday for first scheduled meeting of joint working groups
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal on Friday strongly rejected accusations that Pakistan was supporting the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network, saying the country will not allow its land to be used against any of its neighbouring states.
The briefing comes shortly after a meeting between top Pakistani and Afghan officials in Islamabad.
Afghanistan’s spy agency chief Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai on Thursday alleged that the recent attacks in the war-torn country were “planned from across the border [Pakistan]”.
“We asked Pakistan to hand over the culprits of the attacks in Afghanistan and we shared undeniable evidence that the attacks were planned there,” Stanekzai told reporters in Kabul in a joint presser with Afghan Interior Minister Wais Barmak.
Kabul is on edge after militants stormed a luxury hotel, bombed a crowded street and raided a military compound in the past two weeks.
Afghan authorities have blamed the January 20 attack on the Intercontinental hotel and Saturday’s ambulance bombing on the Haqqani Network. Both attacks have been claimed by the Taliban. Haqqani leader Sirajuddin Haqqani is deputy chief of the Taliban.
During the press briefing, the FO spokesperson said that Pakistan “stands with its Afghan brothers in this hour of grief” and rejected the accusations of supporting the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network.
Pakistan has been rendering continuous sacrifices for the cause of global peace. It will not allow its land to be used against any of its neighbouring countries, and it expects the same from its neighbours, said the spokesperson.
He further stated that the primary focus should be on eliminating havens of the TTP and Jamaatul Ahrar in Afghanistan. Pakistan has constructed 975 posts along its border with Afghanistan, while Afghanistan has built nearly 200 posts only, said Faisal.
The spokesperson noted that 27 suspects handed over to Afghan authorities recently were affiliated with the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network, adding that 470 attacks were carried out in Pakistan from Afghanistan.
FIRST MEETING OF JOINT WORKING GROUP:
Dr Faisal said that Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua will head a Pakistani delegation visiting Kabul on Saturday, where the first scheduled meeting of Pakistani and Afghan joint working groups is scheduled to take place.
He said that Pakistan had proposed five joint working groups which focus on ensuring comprehensive engagement for countering terrorism, intelligence sharing, military, economy, trade and transit interaction, refugee repatriation and connectivity.