Afghanistan not isolating Pakistan

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From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Omar Zakhilwal has distanced his country from Indian efforts to diplomatically ‘isolate’ Pakistan and said, “We must tell Pakistan that our relations with India won’t be a threat to its security. We are not in the business of isolating Pakistan.” The envoy said this while addressing a round table discussion titled ‘Bilateral Reconciliation: Opportunities and Challenges’, organised by Regional Peace Institute here yesterday. “The culture, history, geography and economies of both countries are interdependent and we need to ensure the integrity and self-determination of each other,” he said, adding Pakistan should also view the ties between Afghanistan and India in a positive light. “We will ensure that alliance with India will be of no harm to Pakistan,” he said. The diplomat, who is considered to be quite outspoken, contrary to the diplomatic traditions, admitted the fact that Pakistan and Afghanistan have ‘fracturing relations’ that need to be repaired. The ambassador pointed out that both the governments messed up their relations following the withdrawal of Soviet troops 28 years ago. “Pakistan had been involved in [Afghan] Jihad and thinks that it has the right to dictate governments in Kabul. And this [approach] is not helpful at all.  If there is no peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan cannot secure its people either,” he asserted. The ambassador asserted that Afghanistan must ensure that its space is not used by elements like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to harm Pakistan, adding that Islamabad needed to reciprocate the same by ensuring that its soil is not used by elements like Haqqani network and others against Kabul.

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