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Pakistan supports militants to dominate Afghan foreign policy: Ex-NDS chief

Analysts stress on improved AfPak ties

AT-KABUL: Former Chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said on Saturday that Islamabad has not given up pursuing the strategy of dominating the Afghan foreign policy which led to civil war and unprecedented destruction in Afghanistan, referring the factional fightings following the Mujahideen’s takeover of power in 1990s.

Addressing the fourth round of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Bilateral Dialogue held in Kabul, Amrullah Saleh said that for Afghans the jihad ended in 1992, but for Pakistan the anti-Afghans and anti-Kabul jihad still continues.

The dialogue was organized by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS). It was aimed to discuss the existing challenges and explore all possible avenues to resolve the disputes between the two neighboring countries. The session was attended by scores of Afghan and Pakistani officials and analysts.

Saleh said that it has been 24 years but the mainstream literature of Pakistan’s policy on Afghanistan is jihad, militancy, inclusion of anti-Afghan state groups into the system through extra-constitutional ways.

Last summer, scores of mourning ceremonies for deceased Taliban leader Mullah Omar were organized in almost every city of Pakistan, under the very nose of establishment. Seminaries are collecting donations to support militants in Afghanistan, the ex-NDS chief pointed out.

The former spy chief said: “There are so many commonalities and shared values between people of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but there is a very sharp axe constantly cutting us apart. That axe is the military, intelligence and security mindset and establishment in Pakistan. They are setting the agenda.”

“Afghans are branded as enemies of Pakistan, though we are not. Pakistan claims that it was division within the Afghan Mujahedeen that led to civil war and destruction of Kabul. They also claim that Pakistan tried its best to facilitate talks and bring about unity amongst the Afghans. We have heard all of that narrative. But the reality, supported by massive amount of research and evidence, is that Pakistan never stopped supporting Hekmatyar and later on Taliban for the sole purpose of dominating Kabul’s foreign policy and security posture,” the ex-NDS chief said.

Stressing on the need of improved bilateral ties, Saleh said that the two nations should listen to each other for greater good.

Head of the AISS, Dawood Muradian, said that purpose of the dialogue was to provide a “clear picture” to people of Pakistan about position of Afghan government on the Taliban.

“We want to analyze the elements of dispute between governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, so we can resolve these disputes,” he said, adding that Pakistani civilians and military establishment had different viewpoints on the Taliban.

He said that the bilateral dialogue would encourage the people of Pakistan to pressurize their military to stop supporting insurgency in Afghanistan.

The former Chief of Pakistan’s Naval Staff, Fasih Bokhari, said that the joint dialogue was a significant step to improve relations between the two neighboring countries.

He said that Taliban insurgents were still present in some parts of Afghanistan, threatening the two countries.

The fifth round of the dialogue is expected to be held in Islamabad.

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