Pakistan stand vindicated

IN an interview to a television channel, Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal has confirmed Pakistan’s point of view on cross-border terrorism from Afghan soil and legitimacy of action taken by Pakistan Army to mitigate this threat. The Afghan envoy acknowledged that some of the 76 terrorists wanted by Pakistan might be in areas of Afghanistan not under the control of Kabul administration, therefore, Afghan Government is not necessarily aware of the activities of these elements against Pakistan.
Afghanistan lodged feeble protest when Pakistan forces targeted sanctuaries of Pakistani Taliban on Afghan side of the border. However, Islamabad made it clear that the targets were only terrorist hideouts and not Afghan soil or its people and that this was done after Kabul failed to take any action against them. The stance adopted by the Afghan Ambassador is clear vindication of our stand and that is why the international community too has broadly accepted Pakistani action. However, there are reasons to believe that Afghan Government is playing in the hands of India and its pronouncements might not be taken on face value. This is also borne out by frequent military exchanges between Kabul and New Delhi and sale of weapons by India to Afghanistan. There are also reports of secret visit of Indian Army Chief to Kabul to discuss latest developments and response to them. Pakistan must remain watchful of all these developments and take all measures to safeguard its interests. It is also worth pointing out that Afghanistan’s accusation that Pakistan has not taken action against Afghan Taliban is also negation of ground realities and a severe blow to cooperative approach to deal with the issue of terrorism. Afghan Ambassador is easily forgetting that all successes against terrorism are due to sincere cooperation, intelligence sharing and logistic support provided by Pakistan. The blame game would not be in the interest of any country and it would be in Afghanistan’s own interest to respond positively to repeated requests of Pakistan for joint action against all sorts of terrorists. The best way to achieve this objective would be to tighten border control.

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