Kabul blaming Pakistan for its shortcomings: Munir Akram
NEW YORK: Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram rejected Afghan and US allegations of Pakistani support to the Taliban fighters making rapid advances across Afghanistan, saying that those claims were emanating from the “people in Kabul” trying to explain their national forces’ failure to resist the insurgents.
“There is no support from Pakistan,” he categorically told BBC’s World Service in an online interview conducted from London.
“If anybody wishes, they should come and look at the fact that 97 per cent of the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan has been fully fenced by Pakistan”, Ambassador Akram said, adding that there were also no safe havens in Pakistan.
“The only (safe) havens we have are the havens for the 3 million Afghan refugees, who still remain in Pakistan,” he added.
Pakistan, he said, had given every possible assistance to the Afghan parties and facilitated the peace negotiations.
“We tried to promote a political settlement; we are still trying to do that in Qatar; and we are also trying to do that with the Troika-plus format,” the Pakistani envoy said.
“So, our stand is a political settlement and peace and security in Afghanistan … and we have no favourites. We have no desire to intervene in what comes out in Afghanistan,” he said.
“But, you know, there are people who want to blame other people for their own shortcomings. The people in Kabul, he said, got billions of dollars to build an army, to build the forces and to build a government, but they have failed abysmally as revealed by Taliban’s momentum.
Asked whether Pakistan would recognise Taliban’s government if it takes power in Afghanistan, the Pakistan envoy said, “Our position has been that we do not favour a military solution, and if a takeover is done through a military means, we would still need to promote a political arrangement among all the Afghan parties in order to secure legitimacy for any new government in Kabul.”
“So, the short answer is that initially if it’s a solution by military means, it will call into question the legitimacy of the government that takes power.”
Further asked if Pakistan wants the Taliban to get any share of power in Afghanistan, Ambassador Akram said that based on ground realities, it was inevitable that the Taliban would have to have a share of the power of any new arrangement in Afghanistan.
“The question is how that power is achieved, and how it is acceptable to all the parties concerned in Afghanistan, which is a multiethnic and diverse state, and, therefore, we need a political solution, which accommodates all the stakeholders in Afghanistan.”
About the allegation by the Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan with regard to Pakistan’s involvement with the Taliban, Ambassador Akram said, “I don’t think he speaks for his country, and I don’t think he speaks for anybody … it is a hostile campaign against Pakistan in any case.”
Asked if he was not worried that the United States could potentially join the campaign for sanctions on Pakistan, the Pakistani envoy said, “On the contrary, if you see the statement that President (Joe) Biden has made only yesterday (that) it is up to the Afghan leadership to motivate his own forces to fight against the Taliban.”
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