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Afghanistan rebukes Pak envoy over Pulwama attack remarks

Updated February 21, 2019

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. — File photo
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. — File photo

KABUL: Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Pakistani ambassador on Wednesday over his remarks that Afghan peace talks could be affected if India resorted to violence after last week’s attack on Indian paramilitary police in held-Kashmir.

In a statement issued after the meeting with Ambassador Zahid Nasrullah, the Foreign Ministry said it deemed his comments to be “in contradiction with Pakistan’s commitments with regards to realising peace in Afghanistan”.

Nasrullah said on Tuesday that any attack by India would “affect the stability of the entire region and impact the momentum” of the Afghan peace effort.

At the same time, a former deputy Afghan defence minister said on Tuesday that Nasrullah’s remarks would anger local government officials, saying it played into fears that the country’s long-running civil war is a proxy for rivalries by regional powers.

The Afghan statement said the government “once again calls on Pakistan to act upon its commitments with regards to Afghanistan, particularly those in relation to peace and refrain from making irrelevant statements that do not help solve any problem”.

Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister, Idrees Zaman, earlier tweeted that Nasrullah had been summoned and handed a diplomatic demarche.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2019