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Afghanistan complains about Pakistan to UNSC on terror, Taliban

UNSC Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 17, 2019, 08.50 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Afghanistan has also come hard on Pakistan and complained about the country to the United Nations security council (UNSC) on Islamabad's engagement with the Taliban and support to terror groups. The letter accessed by WION talks about how Pakistan is undermining the sovereignty of Afghanistan with its engagement with the Taliban.

The letter written by Afghanistan's Deputy Permanent Representative to United Nations Nazifullah Salarzai on Friday says Pakistan's engagements with Taliban which "are taking place under the pretext of support for peace efforts in Afghanistan" are "void of any degree of coordination and consultation with the Government of Afghanistan."

The letter explained Ghani's government's viewpoint of the Afghan peace process and said "Government of Afghanistan welcomes and appreciates all efforts aimed at achieving the goal of a peaceful settlement...so long as they are rendered in a manner that conforms to the established principle of Afghan ownership and leadership of the process"

Pakistan government had invited the Taliban for talks along with the United States on Monday with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan also meeting the group. The Taliban in a release said at the "formal invitation of the government of Pakistan" meeting was scheduled to take place "between the negotiation teams of the Islamic Emirate and the US on 18th of February 2019 in Islamabad." The Taliban in a statement said the meet has been postponed since most of the members of the group are on US/UN blacklist and cannot travel. 

The Afghan govt in the letter slammed Khan-Taliban meet and said, "This initiative is a source of deep regret and concern to the people and Government of Afghanistan as it amounts to the official recognition and legitimization of an armed-group that poses a serious threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan"

Kabul said Pakistan's engagement with the Taliban also violates the "provisions of the 1988 Committee’s Sanctions Regime undermine efforts for a peaceful settlement of the current conflict."

Based on the Taliban statement issued on 12 February on the group’s website, members of the Taliban delegation who have been introduced and are listed in the 1988 Committee’s sanctions regime include: Sher Mohammad Stanekzai; Ziauddin Madani; Salam Hanafi; Shahabuddin Delawar; Abdul Latif Mansur; Amir Khan Motaqi; Fazl Mohammad Mazloom and Nurullah Nuri.

Afghan foreign ministry spokesperson Sibghatullah Ahmadi also tweeted about the developments. In a tweet, Ahmadi said, "Afghanistan complains to UN Security Council on Pakistan’s engagements with the Taliban on which Afg Government is not consulted." Elaborating further he said, "It not only undermines the ongoing peace efforts but violates Afghanistan's National Sovereignty, also falls in violation of UNSC Resolution 1988."

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India's official policy on the Afghan peace process is that it should be "Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled".

Afghanistan also slammed Pakistan on its support to terrorism. The letter written a day after the Pulwama terror attack in India, said, "we also expect of, and call on the Government of Pakistan to take decisive action against known terrorist and extremist groups on its territory, which pose a common threat to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region."

Further adding, " Any passivity in fulfilling this objective not only undermines broader counterterrorism efforts but also have a profound impact in providing further space and capacity for such groups to continue their attacks in Afghanistan and the wider region."

In past Afghanistan has raised Pakistan's support to terror in the region and asked Islamabad to stop giving safe haven to terrorists. A number of terror attacks in Afghanistan have been linked to terror outfits based in Pakistan.