NEW DELHI: India on Friday reacted sharply to Pakistan’s assertion that the country had no role to play in Afghanistan. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammed Faisal said in Islamabad on Friday that “India had no role in the peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan”, while Islamabad would continue to support and facilitate Afghan peace process in good faith and as part of a shared responsibility.
“It is not for Pakistan to decide as to what role another country has in regional or global affairs,” responded MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. “Pakistan also cannot decide on behalf of an independent and sovereign country Afghanistan and dictate them as to how to conduct their foreign policy. Pakistan should first and foremost introspect on its own role and responsibility in the precarious situation in Afghanistan; put an end to all kinds of support to cross-border terrorism from territories under its control; and join international efforts to bring inclusive peace to Afghanistan.”
A former diplomat who has served in both Afghanistan and Pakistan said Faisal’s statement exposed Pakistan’s hypocrisy. “What right does Pakistan have to impose the psychopaths who call themselves the Taliban on Afghanistan? Nobody in Afghanistan wants a return to the dark, horrific days of Taliban rule…yet Pakistan is insisting they must be a part of the peace process,” the diplomat said.
On January 13, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her counterparts from six Central Asian states had said they would promote an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process and reconciliation.
‘Pak can’t decide on behalf of India, Afghan’
“It is not for Pakistan to decide as to what role another country has in regional or global affairs,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. “Pakistan also can’t decide on behalf of...Afghanistan and dictate them as to how to conduct their foreign policy.”