ISLAMABAD -  Afghanistan is not sharing any actionable intelligence with Pakistan to defeat the militants along the Pak-Afghan border, Islamabad has told Washington.

Senior officials at the foreign ministry said that Pakistan had complained to the US against the blame game by Afghanistan while demonstrating little interest in practical steps.

These officials told The Nation that Pakistan had also contacted Afghanistan seeking their practical support to eradicate terrorism.

Citing contacts with Washington, an official said: “Afghanistan is raising a hue and cry but doing little to eliminate terrorism. We have shared this position with the US. On our side (of the border), we are doing all we can to defeat the militancy.”

He added: “The US is showing tilt towards Afghanistan but they have still promised to take up the issue with Kabul. We are ready to act on authentic information.”

This week, Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif said Pakistan was ready to provide political assistance to Afghanistan to establish peace in the war-torn country.

Asif said peace in Afghanistan was also in favour of Pakistan, adding Pakistan had eliminated terrorists from its soil and Afghanistan should also fulfil its responsibility in this regard on their side of the border.

Last day, the US imposed sanctions on three individuals linked to ‘Pakistan-based militant networks’ in a bid to push Islamabad to crack down on the alleged perpetrators of attacks on Afghanistan.

The US Treasury Department designated the men as “global terrorists” for their alleged connections to Lashkar-e-Taiba and other groups. It came after the US blacklisted six people accused of supporting the Taliban and Haqqani network in Afghanistan, and stressed their links to Pakistan.

This week’s decision targeted Rahman Zeb Faqir Mohammed, who collected funds for Lashkar in the Gulf. The other two blacklisted men - Hizb Ullah Astam Khan and Dilawar Khan Nadir Khan - were accused of acting on behalf of Sheikh Aminullah, who was sanctioned in 2009 for providing material support to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Another official at the foreign ministry said Pakistani diplomats had spoken to the Afghan counterparts and urged Kabul to stop the blame game and work in partnership with Pakistan against terror.

“We are trying to convince them that the issue is on their side of the border. We are ready to help where needed. On our side of the border, peace has largely been established,” he maintained.

Afghan President Dr Ashraf Ghani and his team have been levelling allegations against Pakistan of sheltering and supporting the militants who were carrying out terror attacks in their country. Pakistan rejects the claims and has sought evidence.

British Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gareth Bayley was also in Islamabad this week for a series of meetings with the Pakistani government.

During his visit – his first to the region in his new role - Bayley reaffirmed the United Kingdom’s commitment to a strong bilateral relationship with Pakistan.

He said that the UK remains firmly committed to supporting Pakistan over the long term, including through its development assistance, a British High Commission statement said yesterday.

Bayley emphasised the importance of Pakistan and Afghanistan working together for greater security, stability and prosperity in the region. He also encouraged swift implementation the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Solidarity.

While in Islamabad, Bayley met Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Mifta Ismail, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, National Security Adviser Nasir Khan Janjua, the Election Commission and members of the diplomatic corps. He had travelled to Islamabad from Kabul, where he began his visit to South Asia.

International relations expert Dr Huma Baqai said Afghanistan had become the graveyard of US’ failed policies. “Pakistan has been doing its best for peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan is an important stakeholder and peace in Afghanistan is in our interest,” she said.

She said Pakistan had responded well to the suspension of US aid. “We have sent a clear message that we do not need the US aid. For the first time, Pakistan has come up with a strong message. Pakistan just wants acknowledgement of its successes in the war on terror,” she added.

Baqai said more than 60 per cent of Afghan land was under the control of Taliban. “Afghanistan should take care of the Taliban at home instead of blaming Pakistan. The US should also not turn a blind eye towards our achievements. The US must tell Afghanistan the blame game will be of no use,” she said.

 

 

SHAFQAT ALI