ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party said yesterday that dichotomy in state policy towards militants had brought Afghanistan and Pakistan close to dangerous collusion.

Addressing a seminar on the Pak-Afghan relations here, PPP senator Farhatullah Babar said Pakistan refuses to acknowledge that the Taliban ideology on both sides of the Durand Line is to destroy modern state structures. “We also pretend that while Afghan Taliban are motivated to drive out foreign forces the Pakistani Taliban are seeking to destroy the state itself,” he said. He added: “It is this dichotomy in state policy that has led the two closest neighbours on the path of dangerous collusion.” Senator Babar said Molvi Fazlullah must be neutralised but so must the successors of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor in Pakistan.

“Mullah Mansoor possessing Pakistani identity documents has raised serious questions about who has provided sanctuaries and protection to Afghan Taliban in Pakistan,” he added.

The PPP leader said the discovery of identity and travel documents from dead Mansoor had dealt a blow to the narrative on sovereignty. Where is sovereignty when the likes of Mansoor are freely using our land to launch attacks in Afghanistan.

After hosting them for over three decades the claim that Afghan Taliban are hiding in refugee camps and therefore they must be repatriated does not arouse much credibility, he said.

Babar said the successors of Mansoor were less likely to be found in the refugee camps and “more likely they are to be found in well protected luxury compounds in Quetta and elsewhere also possessing Pakistani identity and travel documents.”

Saying that Taliban ideology on both sides is the same, he said, that was why Pakistani Taliban were also attacking symbols of state power like lowering the Pakistani flag in Swat, attack on the General Headquarters, naval and Pakistan Air Force installations as much as the Afghan Taliban attack their parliament, the President house and military installations.

Both have the same objectives, ideological roots and ideological leaders and both employ the same tactics, he added.

He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif started on a very positive note by reaching out to Ashraf Ghani and publicly declaring in Kabul that Taliban destabilising the Afghan government were also the enemies of Pakistan.

“Likewise Ashraf Ghani also started off on a positive note. He walked up to the GHQ disregarding protocol, sent Afghan cadets and his army chief to military academy Kakul and announced incentives for Pakistani entrepreneurs,” he recalled.

Today, he said, a disillusioned Ashraf Ghani accuses Pakistan of double standards and blames it for launching an undeclared war against Afghanistan.

In utter frustration and in a knee jerk reaction we have resorted to unilateral border controls and are demanding repatriation of Afghan refugees, he said.

Babar said it was neither feasible nor advisable to throw out the refugees overnight. “We have not been able to register all the refugees yet - a task that must have been completed long ago,” he added.

Border management was a long term process requiring a long term and patient resolution with mutual consultation. It should not be seen as punishing Afghanistan for refusing to be subservient.

A narrative is being fed that Pakistan cannot fight and talk at the same time with Taliban, he said, adding: “There is another narrative also; we have allowed Afghan Taliban as part of terror franchise and at the same time demand a place for them in governance and on the negotiating table.”