‘Proxy war in Afghanistan must end’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday warned against a proxy war in Afghan­istan, a day after the two countries announced the formation of a joint commission to reach out to the Afghan Taliban as part of the reconciliation process.

The warning came from a top foreign office official, the secretary ministry of foreign affairs Salman Bashir, who said that a proxy war in Afghanistan must end now and added that the two countries can work bilaterally to resolve their issues.

“Pakistan does not want a disastrous future for Afghanistan. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan will decide their matters mutually,” Bashir said while talking to reporters at the Naval Headquarters.

As the US deadline to start pulling out its troops from the war-ravaged country draws near, Pakistan and Afghanistan have recently intensified their interaction at different levels to resolve militancy issues.

Pakistan has been critical of alleged deep Indian involvement in Afghanistan and the foreign secretary’s statement seems to be a veiled reference towards its eastern neighbor.

“The situation in Afghanistan is becoming adverse and both countries would have to work jointly to bring back peace and stability there,” Bashir remarked, adding that Pakistan was ready to play its role for brining peace in the volatile region.

He rejected reports by Russian media that the alleged suicide attackers of Moscow airport bombing were trained in Pakistan and said that Russia has not sought Pakistan’s help in probing the incident as yet.

Earlier, Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFWA) presented a cheque of Rs4.57 million to the Pakistan Navy, in support of the ongoing relief and reconstruction activities in flood-hit areas.

Chairperson PFWA Mrs Taranum Bashir presented a cheque to Naval Chief Admiral Noman Bashir. The chief said that Pakistan Navy is committed to serving the nation and would continue its activities.

Elaborating on the operations, he said that Pakistan Navy has successfully launched early rescue and relief operation in Phase I, and reconstruction and rehabilitation projects are under way in Phase II, in which reconstruction of houses, health clinics etc are being given priority.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2011.


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