Terrorists slipping into Pakistan disguised as refugees, Asif tells Ghani

Terrorists slipping into Pakistan disguised as refugees, Asif tells Ghani

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif criticised Afghan president Ashraf Ghani on Monday, calling on the neighbouring country to first recall its refugees before raising the allegation of terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan.

Speaking during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Defence here today, the defence minister said that terrorists were slipping into Pakistan disguised as Afghan refugees.

"Afghanistan has even objected to the term 'border management', but we are not going to step back from it for it is impossible to curb terrorism without it," said the defence minister, warning that no Afghan citizen would be allowed to cross the border without travel documents.

He said that Pakistan has been providing detailed evidence to Afghanistan and the international community of all such terrorism incidents, including the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar and a varsity in Charsadda.

Speaking during the briefing, Secretary Defence Lt. Gen. (retd) Alam Khattak said that there existed no such thing as the Durand Line, but an internationally recognised border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Rejecting the recent statement by President Ashraf Ghani made in Geo News program Jirga, the defence secretary said that the Haqqani tribe was based in Afghan province Khost. He maintained that Pakistan has been waging an indiscriminate offensive against all terrorists.

Member of the Defense Committee, Senator Hidayatullah, said the Afghan soil was being used against Pakistan. He said, "The Taliban have checkposts in Afghanistan, while terrorists who fled Bajaur Agency were issued special cards in the bazaars of Afghanistan's Kunar province".

'Chances of Pak-India talks bleak'

In his informal talk with media men after the meeting, Khajawa Asif said no talks were being held with India at any level, while the chances for a dialogue were bleak in the near future as well.

Speaking with regard to the recent wave of unrest in Indian Administered Kashmir, he said Pakistan has been taking up the Kashmir issue on world forums and apprising the global community of the atrocities being carried out in the occupied Himalayan territory.

The minister further said that Pakistan's relations with Afghanistan and Iran have vital significance. He added that talks will be held on several issues including Kulbhushan Yadav and border affairs during National Security Adviser (NSA) Nasser Khan Janjua's visit to Iran.

Earlier in an interview with Saleem Safi during program Jirga, Ghani had said that state-to-state relations with Pakistan were a bigger challenge for Afghanistan than the existence of terrorists groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

He had alleged Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists and training them, making it a challenge for Afghanistan to forge ties with it.