FO dismisses Afghan agency’s claim about deadly attack

Updated Jul 20 2019

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Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal speaks to the media at the Foreign office in Islamabad on March 28, 2019. - Pakistan on March 28 said it had found no links between militants swept up in a recent dragnet and a suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir last month that brought the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of war. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI / AFP) — AFP or licensors
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal speaks to the media at the Foreign office in Islamabad on March 28, 2019. - Pakistan on March 28 said it had found no links between militants swept up in a recent dragnet and a suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir last month that brought the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of war. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI / AFP) — AFP or licensors

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday rejected Afghan intelligence agency’s allegation that the attack in Kandahar on Thursday was plotted in Pakistan.

“Pakistan rejects baseless accusations concerning recent terrorist incidents in Afghanistan,” FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal tweeted after Afghan intelligence service — the National Directorate of Security (NDS) — in a statement claimed that the attack on Kandahar police headquarters was planned in Balochistan’s city of Chaman.

Twelve people, including nine civilians, were killed in the attack claimed by Taliban. A bombing was followed by a gunfight.

The NDS, according to Afghan media, also released a purported audio of the conversation between the attackers and the plotters.

Says blame-game contrary to the spirit of understanding between leaders of the two countries

“The public blame-game is contrary to the spirit of the understanding between leadership of the two countries to address issues through close coordination amongst relevant agencies,” the FO spokesman said.

He reiterated that Pakistan condemns all acts of terrorism in Afghanistan and hopes that both sides would continue working constructively for durable peace in Afghanistan and the region.

Pakistan’s efforts for facilitating a peaceful settlement of the Afghan conflict have been widely acknowledged. A statement issued by the State Department last week at the conclusion of the US, China and Russia trilateral consultation on Afghan peace said that the three countries “welcomed Pakistan joining the consultation and believe that Pakistan can play an important role in facilitating peace in Afghanistan”.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to meet President Donald Trump on July 22. The meeting is expected to focus on the efforts for settlement of the Afghan conflict, although a number of bilateral issues are also on the agenda.

The NDS statement appeared to be an attempt to muddy the waters before Mr Khan’s trip to the US, according to analysts.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2019