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Karzai: Pakistani minister’s statement is an insult to Afghan people and Taliban

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai slammed the Pakistani defense minister for insulting the Afghan people and Taliban through his recent remarks regarding the security of the trans-Afghan gas pipeline.

In his speech during an event to mark the International Migrants Day in Kabul, Karzai said the remarks by Pakistani defense minister to use the country’s influence on Taliban for the protection of the gas pipeline is an insult to Afghan people and Taliban.

Karzai also added that all Afghan people including Taliban and those in Kabul who are working in the government or as opposition should liberate themselves from colonialism, exploitation and psychic captivity.

He said the Afghan people should work with unity and integrity for the reconstruction of Afghanistan if they claim to be owner of the Afghan soil.

This comes as the Presidential Palace also issued a statement on Sunday slamming the Pakistani defense minister for delivering irresponsible remarks regarding the safety of trans-Afghan gas pipeline, calling it in contrast to non-interference commitments by the country’s leaders.

The statement by Presidential Palace further added that Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline is one of the important economic projects in the region which was brought into the implementation stage with the continued efforts of the Afghan government, specifically engaging with the regional partners – Turkmenistan, and the foundation stone of the project was laid by the leaders of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and India today.

“The Afghan national security forces have the task of defending the territorial integrity and national sovereignty along with the security of Afghan citizens in accordance with the constitution and other applicable laws, and are able to protect the public and private installations, specifically the TAPI gas pipeline which will run 700 kilometers across Afghanistan,” the statement said.

The Afghan officials have long accused Pakistan for remaining reckless to act against the anti-government armed militant groups staging insurgency activities against the Afghan government.

The Afghan national security advisor Hanif Atmar said last month that the Taliban group and Haqqani network are still based in Pakistan where they are receiving training and act against Afghanistan, criticizing the Pakistani leadership for failing to take necessary steps to prevent the activities of the two groups in their soil.

Meanwhile, the statement by Presidential Palace added that the recent remarks by Pakistani defense minister proves that certain Pakistani officials are still interested in interfering in internal affairs of Afghanistan and have close ties with Taliban as well as having influence on the group which proves the claims of the Afghan government and people regarding interference of certain Pakistani officials in internal affairs of Afghanistan. (KP)

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