There is 'conscious' effort by Afghan govt to 'scapegoat' Pak: NSA Yusuf

But the world also needs to be clear that the US invests in a political settlement, he said.He urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to compromise and reach a peace settlement as the insurgents are making rapid gains amid the US troop withdrawal.He stressed that the internationally recognised government in Kabul needed to stop looking for a military victory and should include a broader range of Afghans in any future talks.There will have to be some compromise given the ground reality.


PTI | Islamabad | Updated: 05-08-2021 20:45 IST | Created: 05-08-2021 20:45 IST
There is 'conscious' effort by Afghan govt to 'scapegoat' Pak: NSA Yusuf
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Pakistan's National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf has said there is a ''conscious'' effort by the Afghan government to ''scapegoat'' his country, even as he asserted that Islamabad will not accept a ''forceful takeover'' in the war-torn neighbouring nation.

Afghanistan has seen an uptick in violence by the Taliban after US President Joe Biden’s announcement of the withdrawal of American and NATO troops by August 31.

While Kabul claims that Islamabad is sending thousands of militants to fight in the war-ravaged country and providing safe haven for the Taliban, Pakistan alleges that Afghanistan harbours the anti-Pakistani group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan -- the Pakistani Taliban -- and also the secessionist Balochistan Liberation Army.

Addressing a press conference held at the Pakistan embassy in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Yusuf said the harsh rhetoric of the Afghan government against Pakistan was making it impossible to maintain good relations between the neighbours, the Dawn newspaper reported.

''We are beginning to see a very conscious, deliberate effort by the Afghan government to scapegoat Pakistan,'' he said, adding that Afghanistan wanted to shift the entire blame of its failures onto Islamabad.

Although Pakistan wants to have very good relations with the Afghan government, ''unfortunately, the vitriol and rhetoric coming from there is making that impossible'', the NSA said, wrapping up a week of talks with the US administration.

Underlining that the only solution in Afghanistan is a ''political one'', Yusuf said Pakistan ''will not accept a forceful takeover'' in Afghanistan.

''We have made it absolutely clear that we are with the international community on where this goes. But the world also needs to be clear that the US invests in a political settlement,” he said.

He urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to “compromise and reach a peace settlement” as the insurgents are making rapid gains amid the US troop withdrawal.

He stressed that the internationally recognised government in Kabul needed to stop looking for a military victory and should include a broader range of Afghans in any future talks.

“There will have to be some compromise given the ground reality. But the violence will have to stop,” he said.

Yusuf said his US counterpart Jake Sullivan and others in the Biden administration did not make specific requests of Pakistan, but discussed “how quickly we can get all these actors in one room to have a sincere conversation”.

He dismissed talk of Islamabad exerting leverage over the Taliban.

“Whatever limited leverage we had, we used,” he said, pointing to Pakistan encouraging the Taliban to enter talks with the Afghan government in Doha.

“Now with the troop withdrawal, that leverage has logically gone down further,” Yusuf said.

He further said that Pakistan was no longer in a position to accept Afghan refugees as it currently hosts about 3.5 million.

''Peace in Afghanistan is non-negotiable for us. We under no circumstances are prepared to see protracted instability that in the past has caused spillover into Pakistan,'' the NSA said.

The NSA's remarks came after the US said it wanted Pakistan to keep its borders with Afghanistan open for Afghan refugees, a demand that could strain already tense relations between the two countries, the Dawn report said.

“So, in a place like Pakistan, it’ll be important that their borders remain open,” a senior State Department official had said while briefing journalists on the new US refugee admission programme for Afghan nationals.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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