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War of words continues over Pakistan’s Taliban nexus

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Pakistan once again hit out at Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib for what it called his “repeated impertinent and unwarranted remarks” and accused him of trying to “disregard and nullify” the progress made in the Afghan peace process.

In a rejoinder to a tweet by Mohib on Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s interview with Afghanistan’s TOLONews, the Pakistan Foreign Office said: “Repeated impertinent and unwarranted remarks” were “a calculated attempt by his office to disregard and nullify the progress in the peace process so far”, Dawn reported.

Mohib, who is critical of Pakistan over its ties with the Taliban, recently accused Islamabad of enabling a violent offensive by the terror group in Afghanistan.

In the interview with TOLONews, FM Qureshi has sought to absolve the Taliban for the high levels of violence in Afghanistan.

The Afghan NSA had tweeted that Qureshi’s interview “comes as Taliban launches violent offensives against Afghan people across the country, we know how and why they continue to be enabled to do this. Quraishi is either uninformed, ignorant or accomplice. Maybe he also rejects that, Osama was found next to Pakistani Military HQ.”

The war of words erupted between Pakistan officials and Mohib last month when the latter called Pakistan a ‘brothel house’. Islamabad in protest over the remarks ended all official contacts with the Afghan NSA.

Last month, in a public speech in eastern Nangarhar province, National Security Chief, Hamdullah Mohib called Pakistan a “brothel house”.  Pakistan’s foreign ministry reacted sharply to remarks by Mohib and called on him to reflect on his statement.

Pakistan FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi said: “The national security adviser of Afghanistan carefully listen to me … as the foreign minister of Pakistan I say that no Pakistani will shake your hand or talk with you if you don’t desist from the kind of language you are using or the accusations you’re making against Pakistan.”

The diplomatic spar comes at a crucial time when US forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan. In the absence of a political settlement, Afghanistan can potentially face another cycle of civil war.

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