Pakistan accused of violating Afghanistan’s sovereignty
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): In clear violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Pakistani forces have indulged in heavy artillery shelling from across the border, the United National General Assembly was told on Monday.
“In 2015 Afghanistan continued to face regular attacks across the Durand Line by Pakistani security forces ... As a result of heavy artillery shelling in the eastern provinces, many civilian and border police lives have been lost, and our citizens live in fear,”
Afghan Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal told the UN General Assembly during a special discussion on Afghanistan that pursuant to Article 33 of the UN Charter, Kabul had discussed the issues with Islamabad, but no action had been taken to rectify the situation.
He noted external support to the Taliban and other terrorist groups was primarily motivated by regional rivalry, with excessive and unnecessary anxiety and suspicion of one state over its rival's ordinary relations with Afghanistan.
The suspicion had resulted in an unsavory policy of using violent proxies in pursuit of political objectives, creating a significant trust deficit between Pakistan and Afghanistan and providing oxygen for terror to breath, he remarked.
The peace process could bear fruit only if there was a paradigm shift and these issues were addressed, Saikal said, urging Pakistan to increase direct bilateral contacts with Afghanistan.
It was time to establish a special platform upon which genuine representatives of the two countries could an address the trust deficit and move towards friendly and sustainable neighbourly cooperation, he argued, saying only then progress could be seen in the peace process.
Afghanistan had taken a number of initiatives to build trust with Pakistan, the ambassador claimed, recalling a year back, President Ashraf Ghani travelled to Pakistan during one of his first overseas visits.
“In an unprecedented move, we sent a small team of security officers for training to Pakistan. We were ready to negotiate the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for security management of the Durand Line and open our arms for coordination of military operations,” he added.
Saikal explained Kabul also presented a whitepaper reflecting its views on improving relations with Islamabad. In response, facilitated by China and the United States, Pakistan moved to assist the Murree talks between representatives of the Taliban leader and the Afghan government.
“However, soon it was realised that we were negotiating with the representatives of a leader who had died two years earlier in a hospital in Karachi. So, as you can see, there has been a lack of reciprocity to our trust-building initiatives,” Saikal concluded.
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