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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office rejected on Thursday allegations that Pakistani citizens had supported the Taliban attack on Afghanistan’s city of Ghazni recently.

“We have not received any evidence to back up these spurious accusations and reject these baseless allegations,” FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said, rejecting allegations made by Afghan officials and others.

Last Friday, some 1,000 Taliban fighters stormed the city of Ghazni and retreated five days later.

Afghan defence minister Tariq Shah Bahrami had earlier this week said that Ghazni attack had been carried out by Taliban with the support of external elements, including Pakistanis.

Moreover, The New York Times had reported that Afghan officials had claimed the Taliban were aided by foreign fighters, including Pakistanis and Chechens, and even some Al Qaeda affiliates.

The FO spokesman said that Pakistan was fencing the border with Afghanistan with the objective of restricting cross-border movement of both “men and material” as part of its counterterrorism efforts.

He expressed the hope that the border fencing would help achieve long-term regional stability and improve relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Dr Faisal disclosed that Pakistan and Afghanistan, under a new framework for bilateral relations, were negotiating “a time bound” repatriation plan for Afghan refugees.

“An Afghan delegation from the Ministry of Refu­gee and Repatriation will visit Islamabad shortly for consultations,” he added.

UN inquiry in Kashmir

The spokesman urged India to allow the UN Commission of Inquiry to probe human rights violations by Occupation troops in India-held Kashmir.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had recommended a Commission of Inquiry – the highest level UN probe to ascertain facts about massive atrocities being committed by Indian troops against Kashmiris demanding freedom from Indian occupation.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2018