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Published On: Mon, Aug 7th, 2017

India helps Afghanistan with anti-Pakistan conspiracies: Paki Foreign Minister Asif

nsnbc : Pakistan’s newly-appointed Foreign Minister Khwajah Mohammad Asif has claimed that India supports Afghanistan in hatching anti-Pakistan conspiracies.

Khwajah Mohammad Asif_Pakistan_Aug 2017The statement comes against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between Islamabad and Kabul, improving bilateral relations between Afghanistan and India, and the recent government reshuffle in Pakistan.

Speaking during a press conference for the first time after assuming office, Asif claimed India is supporting Afghanistan in plotting anti-Pakistan conspiracies with an aim to destabilize the country politically and economically. The Afghan officials have not commented regarding the latest remarks of a top Pakistani official so far.

Pakistan has for decades viewed Afghanistan as strategic depth for the case of a major conflict between India and Pakistan – most likely over Kashmir or terrorism – while India hasn’t been naive about Pakistan’s perceived position of Afghanistan either.

Kabul, for its part, has long been insisting that peace would not be achievable in the region as long as the safe havens of terrorist groups remains intact as long as the channels through which they are equipped and financially supported. Pakistan, for its part, also claims that Afghanistan is providing a safe haven for terrorists operating in Pakistan’s tribal region.

The Afghan officials are saying that the leadership councils of the Taliban group and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network are based in the key cities of Pakistan, including Peshawar and Quetta cities from where they plan and coordinate deadly attacks in Afghanistan.

Fueling bad blood between India, Afghanistan and Pakistan as well, is the fact that the US administration of President Trump also has expressed concerns regarding the presence of the terror sanctuaries and Islamabad’s approach towards the terrorist groups.

In an interview with the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, President Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. Herbert McMaster singled out Pakistan when he said the White House wants to see a “change in behavior” from interested groups in the region, particularly Pakistan. The top aide said that while Pakistan has taken “great losses” fighting the Taliban, they have done so “selectively.”

“This is Pakistan in particular that we want to really see a change in– and a reduction of their support– for– these groups,” he said. “I mean, this is– of course, you know, a very paradoxical situation, right, where Pakistan is taking great losses.” “They have fought very hard against these groups,” McMaster argued, “but they’ve done so really only selectively.”

He said that Trump is making clear that the U.S. will no longer tolerate any support for the Taliban or related groups. “The president has also made clear that he, that we need to see a change in behavior of those in the region, which includes those who are providing safe haven and support bases for the Taliban,” McMaster added.

F/AK – nsnbc 07.08.2017

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