Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
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|11/26/00 at 15:21:00|
Russia and India should not be concerned with Afghanistan because the it is non of their business. They are not even neighbours of Afganistan.
India should stay out of Afghan
row, says Pak
New Delhi, Nov. 26: “Afghanistan has become a Berlin wall for Pakistan in developing relations with countries in Central Asia” according to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar.Insisting that Pakistan had a deep seated vested interest in bringing about an end to Afghanistan sponsored terrorism Sattar said that relations between his country and others in the region had come under severe strain as a result.
He admitted that Islamabad was finding it difficult to develop relations with the neighbouring world, and mentioned Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan specifically in this context.
Sattar listed out the reasons why Pakistan was keen on restoring peace and normalcy in Pakistan. On top of his list was the relations with what he referred to as the near abroad, and went on to speak of the flow of narcotics, drugs, and refugees from Afghanistan into Pakistan pointing out these problems had assumed “very serious” dimensions.
He was, however, very critical of India’s “assumed” role saying, “Whatever India is trying to do in relation to Afghanistan is prompted entirely by its hostility to Pakistan.” He said that India does not have a common border with Afghanistan and should keep out of the current process as its interference would unnecessarily complicate issues.
Sattar was particularly happy with the UN negotiations in Afghanistan saying that for the “first time since 1993 we can see some light at the end of a very dark tunnel” and this process should be allowed to continue.Sattar said that the initiative to resolve the Afghanistan problem lay with the six countries sharing common borders with it, and Russia and the US.
India, he said, did not fall in this category and should stay out of it. When it was pointed out that the government here was very concerned about the fall out in Kashmir and the region itself he said, “there is no linkage whatsoever. The Kashmir question has its own dynamics. Afghanistan is not an international dispute.”
He said this constant charge that Pakistan was cooperating with Afghanistan to promote international terrorism was a “figment of the imagination.”He was particularly dismissive of the on going discussions between Russia and India on Afghanistan and terrorism.
He said that Russia had indicated “two concerns to us, one the flow of sympathisers from Afghanistan to Chechnya, and an apprehension that Afghanisatan would threaten the security of the near abroad.” He rejected this with, “any objective analysis will show that Afghanistan is in hardly any position to threaten any country. It is in dire economic straits and armed action across its borders is unthinkable.”
Sattar said that Russia should be satisfied with the recent position taken by the OIC summit where it endorsed non-interference in the affairs of the Russian federation. He further pointed out that Russia was quite removed from the borders of Afghanistan and there were two international borders in between.
“So this is a rather far fetched analysis of threat”, he added.Sattar said that both the US and Russia had been included in the six plus two group because of their “historical role” in Afghanistan. On international concern about Osama bin Laden, he said, “Our recommendation to all countries with a bilateral problem with Afghanistan is to engage with Afghanistan directly on this.”
He said that the US had been having intense negotiations with Afghan authorities and other groups. Sattar said that the attack on the US ship in Yemen had cast a shadow with the US media blaming Osama bin Laden. He referred to reports in the Pakistan media stating that a US attack on Afghanistan was imminent.
He said that Pakistan was finding it difficult to cope with the refugee exodus from Afghanistan and “no other country more than us has to gain from reconciliation.” He said, “Pakistan is desperate for peace.” Referring to the inflow of drugs he said that this had assumed very serious dimensions.
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