ISLAMABAD - Top government and military officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan held an important meeting in Islamabad in which Afghan officials tried to present some kind of evidences to Pakistan against the Taliban and Haqqani network links with Pakistan.
Pakistan rejected the evidence’ shared by Afghanistan regarding the recent spate of attacks by the Taliban in the war-torn country but pledged to cooperate with Kabul to eliminate terrorism, official sources said.
Earlier in the day, Afghan Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak and National Directorate of Security Chief Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai visited Pakistan, carrying a message from President Dr Ashraf Ghani for Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The Afghan team held a meeting with PM Abbasi to discuss the growing tension. The meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Inter-Services Intelligence Chief Lt Gen. Naveed Mukhtar, Chief of General Staff General Bilal Akbar, Afghan Envoy to Pakistan Dr Omar Zakhilwal and other officials.
Soon as the Afghan delegation left Pakistan, the federal cabinet gave a 60-day extension in the Proof of Registration Cards for Afghan Refugees. The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi decided that the PoR will be valid until the end of March.
The validity of legal refugee status for many Afghan refugees expired on January 31. Pakistan has extended the validity of PoR for the refugees at least six times in the past. The last time, the extension was granted only for a month. This was the shortest extension ever granted.
Senior government officials said Pakistan tried to convince the Afghan delegation that their allegations were ‘mere misunderstanding’ which could be removed through talks.
“We have seen their evidence which is only a bunch of allegations. We will still investigate and help them (Afghanistan),” one official told The Nation.
Another official said the talks will continue and Pakistan was optimistic the dialogue process will remove the misunderstandings.
“There has been a consensus on better intelligence-sharing. They (the Afghan delegation) spoke about taking up the (terrorism) issue in the United Nations (accusing Pakistan-based militants of terror attacks in Afghanistan),” he added.