Islamabad chides India for not acceding to its request to attend emergency meeting on Afghanistan.
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan on Saturday rejected allegations leveled by Afghanistan during a UN Security Council (UNSC) emergency meeting on the escalating violence in the war-torn country, calling them “baseless” and “misleading.”
Islamabad also regretted that its request to attend the meeting was denied by India – the newly elected UNSC chair – despite being an important part of the fragile process.
The urgent meeting was convened on Friday to discuss the rising violence in Afghanistan after Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar spoke with India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
Ghulam Isaczai, Kabul’s UN envoy, charged Islamabad with continuing to provide the Taliban with a “safe haven,” and extending supply and logistical support to the hardline group’s “war machine.”
“We urge Pakistan to help with removing and dismantling of Taliban sanctuaries and supply lines, and establish with us a joint monitoring and verification mechanism to make the fight against terrorism and international efforts for peace effective and credible,” he told the council.
“Afghanistan desires nothing but friendly relations and peaceful coexistence with Pakistan based on mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty,” added Isaczai.
However, Islamabad, which played a crucial role in persuading the warring Taliban to hold direct talks with the US and the Kabul government, was not invited to the meeting despite a formal request.
“It is a matter of deep regret that, as the closest neighbor of Afghanistan, whose contribution in the ongoing peace process has been recognized by the international community, Pakistan’s request to the President of the Security Council to address the Council’s session and present its perspective on the Afghan peace process and the way forward was not acceded to,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.
On the other hand, the statement added, the council’s platform was made available “to enable the peddling of a false narrative against Pakistan.”
It said Afghanistan’s representative “propagated disinformation and leveled baseless allegations against Pakistan with a view to mislead the international community” in his UNSC statement.
“Pakistan categorically rejects these accusations. Pakistan’s position on the issue has been shared with Security Council members,” it added.
“We emphatically reiterate that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a negotiated political settlement is the only way forward for durable peace and security in the country,” the statement said.
Pakistan’s “constructive” efforts with international community support have led to achieving important milestones in the Doha peace process, including the US-Taliban peace agreement and the subsequent start of intra-Afghan negotiations, it added.
Islamabad expressed concern over reports of human rights violations and urged all parties to uphold human rights and international humanitarian law.
It also called upon warring sides to avoid the use of force, engage constructively in negotiations in order to achieve an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.
It is equally important to remain cognizant of spoilers, both inside and outside the country, who do not want peace and stability to return to Afghanistan and the region, it added.
“We also urge the government of Afghanistan, once again, to refrain from the blame-game and engage with Pakistan in a meaningful manner to address the challenges to peace, security and progress in the region,” the statement concluded.
Violence has intensified across Afghanistan since May when the US and other foreign forces began their pullout from the war-infested country, which is slated to be completed by Aug. 31.
The Taliban, who already control large swaths of Afghanistan, have recently turned their attention to the country’s major cities, overrunning provincial capitals.