Khar dismisses Nato criticism as ‘old wine in even older bottle’
KABUL: Pakistan said on Wednesday it had no hidden agenda in Afghanistan, following top-level talks in Kabul after a Nato report accused Islamabad of secretly aiding Taliban militants.
“We have no hidden agenda in Afghanistan,” Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told reporters after a meeting with President Hamid Karzai.
She dismissed the Nato report as “an old wine in an even older bottle”. “These claims have been made many, many times.
Pakistan stands behind any initiative that the Afghan government takes for peace,” she said. The leaked report overshadowed a visit aimed at thawing frosty relations between the two neighbours, blighted by mutual accusations over Taliban insurgencies in both countries.
Ms Khar told the news conference, however, that “we consider any threat to Afghanistan’s independence and sovereignty as a threat to Pakistan’s existence. Pakistan and Afghanistan need to look forward to a relationship based on trust.”
Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul said “there will be no peace in the region if there is no serious regional cooperation.
“Pakistan plays a key role in Afghan peace process. I hope Ms Rabani’s visit is the beginning of a good relationship between our two countries.”
Earlier, Ms Khar called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and discussed Pak-Afghan relations.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai while talking to Ms Khar said his country wanted better relations with Pakistan and expansion of cooperation in different fields.
According to Pakistan’s Foreign Office officials, Ms Khar in her remarks said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan and it would continue to extend every possible help for the development of Afghanistan.
She said Pakistan respected Afghanistan as an independent and sovereign country.
Earlier, the foreign minister also held separate meetings with Chief of Hizb-e-Wahdat Ustaad Haji Mohaqiq, Jumbish-i-Milli Leader Faizullah Zaki and Opposition Alliance’s Tajik Leader Younis Qanooni in Kabul.
While talking to newsmen in Kabul, she said Pakistan would extend support to any reconciliation process that would be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
She said Pakistan wanted peaceful, stable, progress and developed Afghanistan and it was in the interest of Pakistan.