The Afghan delegation gets a cold shoulder in the federal capital.—AP/File
The Afghan delegation gets a cold shoulder in the federal capital.—AP/File

ISLAMABAD: A high-level Afghan delegation, which visited Islamabad on Friday to discuss their concerns about the continued presence of Taliban bases in Pakistan got a cold shoulder in the federal capital and was, instead, advised to resume peace talks with the Taliban.

The Afghan delegation, which included Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanekzai and Intelligence Chief Rahmatullah Nabil, could not get anything substantive after their meetings in Islamabad.

The delegation met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz.

“The two sides agreed to maintain close contact to promote bilateral cooperation, address all issues of common concern, and evolve a strategic consensus to respond to security challenges of the region,” a statement from the Foreign Office after the talks said.

The Afghan delegation had embarked on the visit with a confrontational tone promising to present Pakistani leaders evidence of Taliban presence in Pakistan and demand the removal of their bases from the country.

The visit followed recent high-profile attacks in Kabul, which for the time being look to have thrown the relationship that had improved over the past few months, back into crisis.

Speaking to the press hours before the arrival of the Afghan delegation, Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz, hoped that the “misunderstanding between the two countries would be cleared soon”.

At the talks Mr Aziz did not make any fresh commitment but echoed the military by warning against “spoilers and detractors” trying to drive a wedge between the two countries. He underscored the need for mutual trust.Apart from that he renewed Pakistan’s offer to facilitate a dialogue with the Taliban – something about which President Ashraf Ghani in his press conference last Monday said that his country was no longer interested.

A security source also confirmed that the emphasis of the Pakistani side was on carrying forward the reconciliation process that was suspended last month ahead of the second round of peace talks after the disclosure of Taliban chief Mullah Omar’s death.

President Ghani’s outburst against Pakistan earlier this week and allegations made by Afghan spy agency NDS about Pakistan’s role in Kabul attacks struck a sour note with Islamabad.

The Pakistani establishment was furious about President Ghani publicly lashing out at the country after discussing the matter with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief Raheel Sharif over the telephone a day earlier.

The delegation, despite inclusion of the NDS chief Rahmatullah Nabil and acting defence minister Masoom Stanekzai, could not meet Gen Raheel Sharif or the ISI Director-General Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar.

The Foreign Office said Mr Rabbani reaffirmed Afghanistan’s desire to work closely with Pakistan to enhance mutual cooperation in all areas of common interest. He concurred with the imperative of common endeavours for countering terrorism and for enduring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2015

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Comments (30) Closed



Khan- USA
Aug 14, 2015 07:12am

The sooner Afghan understand the better it is. No Afghan government can survive and prosper without Pakistan. It is a landlocked country and we are same in language, culture , religion and have same destiny.

HAMZA KHAN
Aug 14, 2015 07:43am

Afghanistan needs to understand the nefarious designs of India, which can go to any extent to disrupt the peace process because it does not want peace in the region. So beware of detractors!

TechnoKraft
Aug 14, 2015 07:44am

THE Afghans must think why Pakistan would derail the Murree dialogue that it was hosting itself? Obviously some other party is trying to sabotage this peace process. Afghanistan must learn to differentiate between enemies and true brothers

Dara Singh
Aug 14, 2015 08:27am

Afghan govt is immature in giving out such statements at the behest of foreign powers. We wish afghans well. They are Muslims, our neighbors, our shared values, we are both conservatives. Hindus can't be their well wishers like they have proven to be our enemies. Hindus hate us both equally well. I wish they stop reacting so immaturely.

sonny afridi
Aug 14, 2015 08:53am

Afghanistan has two choices, stay on Indian side and face violence and destruction or join hands with Pakistan and Taliban and get peace .

lafanga
Aug 14, 2015 09:03am

Just a cold shoulder. Pakistan should have sent a clear message to Afghan govt that open allegations against Pakistan as made by Ghani will not be tolerated in future. Pakistan is bending over backwards to bring peace to Afghanistan and the first chance Ghani govt gets, he blames Pakistan. I am glad that neither of the army Generals met the delegation.

Zak
Aug 14, 2015 09:17am

Afghanistan cannot sail on two boats , ask India to vacate Afghanistan and shake hands with us , then we can ensure taliban maintain peace, otherwise you are on your own, don't expect any help or sympathy from us.

Sonny Afridi
Aug 14, 2015 09:22am

As long as hostile vested groups in Afghanistan (foreign and local) wage war like actions on Pakistan we must continue to do the needful. No doubts on that.

Sonny Afridi
Aug 14, 2015 09:24am

If the afghan govt is so incompetent they can't ward off attacks in such a heavily fortified Kabul they should resign, not scape goat a country that not only liberated them but helped them time and time again - their only real friend at this point

Realist
Aug 14, 2015 09:42am

first India now Afghanistan the whole world feels Pakistan is harbouring terror.

@expat
Aug 14, 2015 09:59am

Disclosure of Mulla Umar's death and the latest round of voilence in Afghanistan, came at a crucial time. The apparent fallout makes it crystal clear that peace process and the cordial environment and the will to work together between Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been effectively sabotaged. Afghanistan is back to its usual way of doing business with Pakistan. Is it a political necessity for the Afghan govt after its weakness was exposed ? Who would gain from this situation ? The writing on the wall is that both the countries stand to loose. If so , then should individuals and militant groups, be allowed to control the future of millions of common people of our two countries?

vicky
Aug 14, 2015 10:06am

Talks with Taliban for what...more suicide bombing??? what kind of advice is this?? why not remove the network you are supporting?

Parivel
Aug 14, 2015 10:11am

Never end confrontation..... Pakistan shall move towards peace.... Come out of Dirty tricks to control neighbours.... This policy has already weakened Pakistan to greatest extent.....

Mohammad Saleem
Aug 14, 2015 10:14am

It was an unwise move by the Kabul delegation to visit Islamabad in the forlorn hope to nudge the Pakistani rulers to dismantle the terrorists bases. Ultimately, the Afghan government will be prompted to take up Pakistan's relentless meddling in the internal affairs of Afghanistan at the UN security Council.

Zak
Aug 14, 2015 10:40am

At the talks Mr Aziz did not make any fresh commitment but echoed the military by warning against “spoilers and detractors” trying to drive a wedge between the two countries.

This Afghan delegation is representing the " spoilers and detractors" agenda. If they follow them, they will never have peace.

Nomi
Aug 14, 2015 10:55am

Well done chief. Never meet them if they use such language. Same goes for others too.

Ali Gee
Aug 14, 2015 11:41am

Afghan government should take responsibility of peace rather than looking easy way out of blaming Pakistan. Also should stop playing in Indian agencies hands and create hater between Afghan and Pakistani people

Seemab roy
Aug 14, 2015 11:46am

Great response...I hope confrontational tone of every nation (KSA, US, UAE etc) be answered in parallel.

Kautiliya
Aug 14, 2015 11:47am

Afghanistan should work with Pakistan in common areas of interest but cover their rear guard at all times

Sunny_Boye
Aug 14, 2015 01:04pm

Whats happening.... us and they cant even find a mutually interested agenda to meet... its suspected to have polarized ambitions...

Notsurprised
Aug 14, 2015 02:25pm

We should have shut the border with this country a long time ago and would have been spared the scourge.

Khan
Aug 14, 2015 02:41pm

Good message given to Afghanis

Naim
Aug 14, 2015 02:45pm

Heads in dust Including conspirator NDS chief

They will never understand as hey are daily wages of India Very simple

No logic

Their last 50 years history is saying same story

$$$$$

Juliana Fitzwater
Aug 14, 2015 03:30pm

Dear Pakistan - Please don't play that 90s game again. We do not want another generation to suffer

rs
Aug 14, 2015 04:05pm

Trust is the single most important factor. Afghanistan has lost trust with Pakistan. It is for Pakistan to act and get the lost trust back.

rs
Aug 14, 2015 04:13pm

@sonny afridi Taliban already destroying Afghanistan. Have safe sanctuary in Pakistan to attack Afghanistan.

Salman Kureishi
Aug 14, 2015 04:15pm

Afghans are not worth two cents, they should thank their stars that Pakistan is helping them. They should also understand that India can never be its friend and is only using them against pakistan.

rs
Aug 14, 2015 04:36pm

@lafanga Already firm message is being sent through terror attacks on Afghans. Pakistan government wants to create a good climate for China to do business in Afghanistan. Blaming others will not yield any results. Better act against Taliban, if you can.

Rayhana
Aug 15, 2015 07:34pm

@rs: "Better act against Taliban, if you can." -- No, why should Pakistan act against the Afghan Taliban? The deal has been to work out a peace settlement between the Kabul regime and the Afghan Taliban, and that is the only thing Pakistan will do. This entire peace process is being brokered by Pakistan jointly with the United States and China, so asking just Pakistan to act against one of the parties to the negotiations is absolutely the wrong thing to do. If that means Afghanistan suffers more terrorist attacks, then that is entirely Afghanistan's problem because of its incompetence and inability to secure itself even after Pakistan repeatedly warned the Afghans to secure their side of the border to prevent terrorists from slipping into Afghanistan when Pakistan Army was busting terrorist bases in FATA during Zarb-e-Azb and earlier operations.

Preeti Kaur
Aug 15, 2015 07:40pm

The situation has become so bad only because there are spoilers in Afghanistan. That powerful anti-talks constituency in Kabul has made a deliberate choice to throw wrenches in the peace process and try to achieve a military solution purely out of spite for Pakistan. Meanwhile there is no anti-talks constituency in Pakistan. Ashraf Ghani just has to occasionally make swipes at Pakistan to please that anti-talks constituency with his backward looking allegations. The Afghans need to first decide for themselves what they even want, talks or war. They must reach one single decision across all their constituencies, then come to Pakistan and tell it what they want, so that Pakistan can act accordingly. What the Afghans are doing now will only hurt themselves and annoy the international community especially China and the United States.