India a spoiler, US a friend: Pakistan yet again makes its choices clear on Afghan peace process

Continuing its efforts to isolate India and seeking close cooperation with the US in the Afghan peace process, Pakistan has said it considers Washington a friend and wants  road-based relations with it to achieve the shared objective of peace in the region and beyond

Aug 14, 2021
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Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry

Continuing its efforts to isolate India and seeking close cooperation with the US in the Afghan peace process, Pakistan has said it considers Washington a friend and wants  road-based relations with it to achieve the shared objective of peace in the region and beyond.

Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry, at a press briefing, repeated the allegation that India was playing the role of a ‘spoiler’ in the ongoing Afghan peace process and has “always supported a military solution over a negotiated political settlement, and used the Afghan soil for sponsoring terrorist activities in Pakistan”.

Speaking about the US, he said: “We believe that both countries have a history of close cooperative relations, which have served our shared interests”.

Pakistan had earlier sought the involvement of the US, Russia, China and Iran along with itself to carry forward the Afghan peace process, while making it clear it saw no role for India.

He said both US and Pakistan had convergence of views and interests on a number of key issues, including the ongoing Afghan peace process, and they believed there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and wanted to see peace there.

“Both Pakistan and the US support an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan through a process that is owned and led by Afghans themselves,” he said.

Recalling that Pakistan played a key role in facilitating the US-Taliban agreement for peace in Afghanistan in February last year, the FO spokesman said: “We have repeatedly stated that neither should Pakistan be looked at through the prism of another country, nor should our relations be viewed narrowly. We want to build long-term, broad-based, comprehensive and mutually beneficial partnerships rather than having transactional relations,” he added.

Continuing with its charge of India’s involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan, an accusation strongly denied by New Delhi, Chaudhry said that last year his country had presented a comprehensive dossier containing irrefutable evidence of India’s active planning, promoting, aiding, abetting, financing and execution of terrorist activities in Pakistan. “We have also recently exposed the Indian hand in the terrorist attack in Lahore”, he said.

“More recently, we have presented concrete evidence regarding the involvement of (Indian Intelligence Agency) RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) and Afghanistan’s NDS (National Directorate of Security) in the Dasu terrorist incident (in which a number of Chinese workers were killed). Such activities make India culpable under the international law, UN sanctions regime and international counterterrorism conventions.

“We have been consistently sharing the evidence with the international community, and will continue to use all relevant forums, including the United Nations, to not only expose India but also hold it accountable to perpetrating state-sponsored terrorism against Pakistan,” he said.

On July 14, nine Chinese citizens as also four Pakistanis died when a shuttle bus they were traveling in plunged into a deep ravine after an explosion on board.

The bus was ferrying the Chinese and Pakistani workers to an under-construction tunnel site of the Dasu hydropower project in the remote Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

In a tit-for-tat diplomacy, India, the month’s chair of the UN Security Council, kept out Pakistan from
a meeting of the world’s key deliberative body on Afghanistan.

(SAM)

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