Afghan Interior Minister, NDS Chief in Pakistan for high level talks over terrorism

Afghan Interior Minister, NDS Chief in Pakistan for high level talks over terrorism

ISLAMABAD: The relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are likely to deteriorate further with the recent spike in the terrorism incidences in the Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has openly blamed Pakistan and its agencies responsible for the high level terror attacks in Kabul carried out by the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network.

A high-level Afghan delegation comprising the country’s interior minister and the chief of National Directorate of Security (NDS) has arrived in Pakistan to hold talks on bilateral cooperation, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said on Wednesday.

“Afghan government had requested that a high-level delegation comprising Interior Minister and NDS chief would like to visit Pakistan with a message from Afghan President and for discussions about cooperation between the two countries. Delegation is here and will have talks today,” FO spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted.

Meanwhile, a private media outlet reported that Tehreek-e-Taliban based in Afghanistan was behind the Kurram Agency landmine explosion, which killed at least eight people of a family, including three women, on Tuesday.

The report further stated that the explosion was plotted in Afghanistan.

Earlier, Afghan officials had claimed that the upsurge of atrocities on their land is a direct response to the Trump administration’s suspension of aid for the Pakistani military.

The head NDS, Masoom Stanekzai, stated that these were deadly attempts by the Pakistani backers of the insurgency to show they cannot be sidelined.

A senior diplomat in Kabul, Majeed Qarar, said there was evidence that the equipment used in the attacks had been given by the Pakistani military to Islamist fighters in Kashmir as well as Afghanistan. He also claimed that some of it had been supplied by a firm in the UK.

Qarar tweeted: “The night vision goggles found with Taliban attackers in … ANA [Afghan National Army] base were military grade goggles (Not sold to the public) procured by Pak[istan’s] army from a British company & supplied [to] Lashkar-e-Tayeeba in Kashmir & Taliban in Afghanistan.”

This follows statements by the NDS after the attack on the Intercontinental Hotel which killed 22 people, including 14 foreigners, that “the explosive materials seized in the vehicle shows that the material is made in Pakistan” and had been traced to a company based in Islamabad. In Washington, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “We call on Pakistan to immediately arrest or expel the Taliban’s leaders and prevent the group from using Pakistani territory to support its operations. In Afghanistan, where terrorists attacked the hotel in Kabul, such attacks on civilians only strengthen our resolve to support our Afghan partners.”

The Afghan government also maintained there was Pakistani collusion in the suicide bombing that used an ambulance, which resulted in 103 deaths.

Pakistan has denied the accusation. “The people and the government of Pakistan condemn the terrorist blast in Kabul and extend heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this reprehensible act,” said a foreign ministry spokesman. “Terrorism is not the way forward.”