Afghanistan quashes Pak’s ‘reckless’ claim that Kashmir issue may impact peace process

Afghanistan has rebutted Pakistan’s claims that Kashmir issue could potentially impact the ongoing Afghan peace process and said such a “reckless and unwarranted” statement by Islamabad is a “poor excuse” to justify its inaction against the Taliban.

Asserting that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India, Kabul accused Islamabad of harbouring terrorist groups which operate from their soil and regularly undermine Afghan security.

The Afghan government’s reactions came in response to the statement of Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed Khan, who said that his country might redeploy troops from the Afghanistan border to the Kashmir frontier amidst Indo-Pak tension and it could complicate American peace talks with the Taliban. He made these remarks while talking to the New York Times editorial team on August 12, days after India announced its decision to reorganise the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir

In a statement, the Afghan Embassy in the US on Sunday said, “Any such statement that links the evolving situation in Kashmir to the Afghan peace process is reckless, unwarranted and irresponsible.”

“Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. We believe Pakistan’s motive and insistence to purposely tie Afghanistan to the Kashmir issue is a deliberate attempt to prolong the violence happening on Afghan soil. It is a poor excuse used by Pakistan to justify its inaction against the Taliban and to avoid taking a decisive stance against the militant group,” it added.

The Afghan peace process is being led by the United States to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan. President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he wants American troops out from Afghanistan and has sought Pakistan’s help. However, the Afghan government has accused Pakistan regime of supporting various terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

The Afghan government also questioned Pakistan’s action to deploy tens of thousands of military troops on its western frontier.

“There is no threat from Afghanistan to Pakistan. The Afghan government sees no credible reason for Pakistan to maintain tens of thousands of military troops on its western frontier,” the statement read.

The embassy asserted that it is imperative for Afghanistan and Pakistan to work together “constructively to utilize the potential of the region to improve the lives of our respective peoples”.

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