Sartaj’s convincing rejoinder to Kabul

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AS anger is growing in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan over utter failure of those at the helm of affairs to improve security, some elements in Afghan Government and outside, in their bid to divert attention of the people from domestic failures, have started blame game against Pakistan. They are accusing Pakistan of sponsoring terrorist attacks inside that country, prompting Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to issue a strong rejoinder pointing out that the accusatory approach is instigated by those who have no interest in peace and stability in Afghanistan and their malicious agenda is to damage Afghanistan-Pakistan relations and the cooperation initiatives recently gaining momentum.
At least 90 people, mostly civilians, were killed and hundreds were wounded in Wednesday’s truck bomb attack, which officials described as “one of the biggest” to have hit the capital and injured also included staff of Pakistan embassy in Afghan capital. Two days later, demonstrators took to the streets of the Afghan capital in droves to demand the resignation of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah but security forces opened fire on them killing at least eight and injuring several others, sparking more resentment and chaos in the country. As people were offering funeral of one of those killed in Friday firing by police, a triple explosion at the Tapa Marshal Fahim cemetery left at least 20 people dead, raising the death toll to more than 100 people in just four days of violence. All this is to say that in this backdrop when anger was boiling against Afghan high-ups, a peace moot was planned in Kabul and the US administration was about to announce its new Afghan policy, one can easily understand whose interests these attacks have served. The situation becomes murkier as Afghan Taliban have categorically stated that they had nothing to do with these attacks and instead they condemned them. There are reasons to believe that enemies of peace are behind dastardly attacks, which have also been strongly condemned by Pakistan. Pakistan is not just issuing verbal statements but taking practical steps to improve border security but it is Afghan Government that creates obstacles in the way of border management, raising questions about its sincerity to end the vicious cycle of violence in the neighbouring country. Pakistan has also been telling the Afghan side to check misuse of its soil against Pakistan but so far no tangible action has been taken. The problem of terrorism would remain there until and unless a cooperative approach is adopted, shunning blame game at the instance of some regional powers.