Saturday Jun 05, 2021
MULTAN: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib should be ashamed for maligning Pakistan and advised him against using harsh language against Islamabad.
"Listen to me closely," he said, calling out the Afghan official, "Pakistan has played an important role in helping achieve stability in Afghanistan."
The foreign minister's comments came during his address to party workers in Multan, where he spoke on several fronts, including the Afghan peace process and the progress with the Financial Action Task Force.
"Afghanistan's national security advisor should review his statement [against Pakistan]; he is creating obstacles in the road towards peace," the foreign minister said.
Qureshi said the world had acknowledged Pakistan's role for peace in Afghanistan.
The foreign minister said Pakistan had been placed on FATF's grey list in 2018, and alleged that some politicians had made efforts to get the country's name on the watchdog's black list.
"In FATT's last meeting, it was noted that Pakistan had taken concrete steps to curb [money laundering]," the foreign minister said, adding there was no justification to keep Pakistan on the grey list anymore.
The foreign minister hoped that the country would soon move towards the white list if the decision is based on merit.
Last month, The News, quoting a foreign publication, said highly placed officials had informed it that Pakistan had conveyed to the Afghan leadership it would no longer conduct official business with Mohib due to his recent “abusive outburst” against Islamabad.
In a public speech last month in eastern Nangarhar province, next to the Pakistani border, Mohib not only repeated his allegations against Islamabad but called Pakistan a “brothel house.”
His remarks outraged leaders in Islamabad, who denounced them, saying they “debased all norms of interstate communication.”
A senior Pakistani official privy to the matter told the media outlet on condition of anonymity that Pakistan lodged a strong protest with the Afghan side and conveyed “deep resentment” in the country over Mohib’s “undignified” remarks.
In a video clip from the speech posted on social media, Saleh asserted that “a Western leader” recently telephoned Ghani and told him that Pakistan does not want to work with a “Pashtun leader in Afghanistan.” The vice president did not identify the foreign leader, nor did he name Mohib but the Afghan national security advisor is an ethnic Pashtun.
Mohib, during a press conference last month in Kabul, was asked to respond to reports that Islamabad had ended official dealings with him.
“My team has seen media reports attributed to anonymous individuals. As of now, the government of Afghanistan has not been officially intimated about the issue,” the adviser said.
“The Afghan government will respond to it through relevant diplomatic channels whenever the information is formally conveyed to it,” Mohib added.
On May 17, Pakistan's Foreign Office (FO) had conveyed serious concerns related to the "irresponsible statements and baseless allegations" that the Afghan leadership made against Pakistan.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, in a statement, had said Pakistan had conveyed its serious concerns to the Afghan side by making a strong demarche with the Afghan ambassador in Islamabad.
Pakistan has emphasised that groundless accusations erode trust and vitiate the environment between the two brotherly countries and disregard the constructive role being played by Pakistan in facilitating the Afghan peace process, the statement had said.
The Afghan side had been urged to effectively utilise the available forums, like the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), to address all bilateral issues.
The statement came two days after Afghani President Ashraf Ghani, in an interview with German publication Der Spiegel, had claimed that Pakistan supports the Afghan Taliban through an "organised system" comprising logistics, financial assistance, and recruitment facilities.
"The names of the various decision-making bodies of the Taliban are Quetta Shura, Miramshah Shura and Peshawar Shura – named after the Pakistani cities where they are located. There is a deep relationship with the state," Ghani claimed further.
When asked if he still believed in the Afghan peace process, Ghani said: "Peace will primarily be decided upon regionally, and I believe we are at a crucial moment of rethinking. It is first and foremost a matter of getting Pakistan on board. The US now plays only a minor role. The question of peace or hostility is now in Pakistani hands."
Ghani also said that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has "clearly assured Afghanistan that the restoration of the Emirate or dictatorship by the Taliban is not in anybody’s interest in the region, especially Pakistan".
"However, some of the lower levels in the army still hold the opposite opinion in certain cases. It is primarily a question of political will," he said.