Pakistan issues demarche to Kabul’s envoy Najibullah Alikhel over critical remarks by Afghan leadership

Pakistan on Monday served a demarche to Afghanistan‘s ambassador Najibullah Alikhel, protesting against the accusations by the Afghan leadership.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO), however, did not specify the statement which angered it.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in a recent interview, alleged that Pakistan “operates an organised system of support” for the Afghan Taliban.

“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,” the Afghan leader said.

The FO, responding to media queries regarding the allegations made by the Afghan leadership, said Pakistan was seriously concerned about the statements.

“Pakistan has conveyed its serious concerns to the Afghan side by making a strong demarche with the ambassador of Afghanistan in Islamabad on the recent irresponsible statements and baseless allegations made by the Afghan leadership,” according to a statement by the FO.

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, it said.

The Afghan side has been urged to effectively utilise the available forums like Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity to address all bilateral issues, it said.

Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan of providing safe havens for terror groups that target its territory, especially the Afghan Taliban, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Haqqani group.

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