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Kabul mulling over Islamabad’s 8-article action plan

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Pakistan has sent an 8-article action plan to President Ashraf Ghani through a high-level Afghan delegation that visited Islamabad on Thursday to convey the message of the Afghan president regarding action against the Taliban who are enjoying safe havens in the neighboring country, said an official.

In the aftermath of a wave of deadly terrorist attacks in Kabul that led to the killing of dozens of Afghans, Kabul sent a delegation, comprising of the acting defense minister Masoom Stanikzai, Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani and the chief of National Directorate of Security Rahmatullah Nabil, to Islamabad.

An official told Azadi Radio on condition of anonymity that the Afghan government is looking into the action plan.

Though contents of the action plan are not clear so far, a number of lawmakers assume that Pakistan may have stuck to its old demands—unconditional access to Central Asia via Afghanistan, recognition of the Durand Line as international border, control over Afghanistan’s foreign policy and natural resources.

Shukria Barakzai, a member of Wolesi Jirga, said: “Kabul should not surrender to Pakistan’s demand. They [Pakistan] need us more than we do.”

She added that the Afghan government should find alternatives to Pakistani transit trade routes. “For instance, we should enhance our trade ties with the Central Asian region,” she said.

It is worth mentioning that President Ashraf Ghani sent an 8-article letter to Pakistan around four months ago, where he had asked the country to arrest the Taliban leaders in Quetta and Peshawar cities, not to treat wounded Taliban militants in its hospitals, destroy camps of the militant group on its soil, conduct operations against Haqqani Network, and monitor sale of chemical materials used in bombs.

It is said the Afghan militants enjoy easy availability of the cheaper chemical materials including fertilizers in Pakistan. Islamabad has been urged repeatedly by the Afghan government and the United States to monitor sale of these chemicals as the insurgents were using these materials in explosive devices that killed and injured hundreds of innocent Afghans.

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