Pakistan rejects Afghan leader’s remarks on terror links

August 24th, 2010 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Aug 24 (DPA) Pakistan Tuesday rejected claims by a senior Afghan security official that Islamabad was providing safe havens to terrorists.
The allegations by Afghan National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta were “nothing new but a rehash of hackneyed and baseless allegations against Pakistan and its security agencies”, Islamabad’s foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said.

Spanta in an article published in The Washington Post Monday accused Pakistan of playing a double game and taking billions of dollars in assistance while hosting known terrorist groups.

“Pakistan continues to provide sanctuary and support to the Quetta Shura, the Haqqani network, the Hekmatyar group and Al Qaeda,” the Afghan leader said.

Calling on the international community to “dismantle” Pakistan-based networks as part of the wider strategy against terrorism, Spanta said “this requires confronting the state that still sees terrorism as a strategic asset and foreign policy tool”.

“While we are losing dozens of men and women to terrorist attacks every day, the terrorists’ main mentor continues to receive billions of dollars in aid and assistance. How is this fundamental contradiction justified?” he wrote.

Basit said Spanta’s views were personal and did not reflect the excellent mutual understanding and cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism.

“Both our countries recognised how imperative it was to defeat the pernicious evil of terrorism for achieving stability and prosperity in our region,” he said.

He said Pakistan would not be distracted by such unfair remarks, and would continue working with Afghanistan and the international community to eliminate militancy and terrorism.

Pakistan has been long suspected by the Afghan and US intelligence community of turning a blind eye to terrorist groups, based in its tribal areas, training and attacking NATO troops across the border.

The international whistle-blower website WikiLeaks last month published thousands of documents showing links between Pakistani intelligence and militants.

Pakistan denied the accusations, while the US deplored the publishing of documents that it said could jeopardize the security of its men and women in uniform, and its allies among the population.

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