Afghan Govt Criticized for ‘Vague’ Policy Toward Pakistan

Two lawmakers on Sunday said they see an unclear policy by the Afghan government’s foreign policy toward Pakistan, referring to recent remarks by President Ashraf Ghani and his National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib about Islamabad’s policies.

“Under the current situation and the ongoing peace process, unfortunately, there isn’t a unified view from the Republic. This is not in favor of the peace process and in complicates the current situation,” said Nazifa Yusufi Bek, an MP from Takhar.

“You have witnessed recently that Mr. President has had one view on Pakistan while his national security adviser Mr. Mohib has had another. Therefore, these conflicting views by politicians and government officials will lead the country towards further crisis. I hope that a written policy is prepared towards neighboring countries in the earliest time possible,” said Abdul Sattar Husaini, an MP from Farah.

On the first day of Eid (May 13, Thursday) President Ghani in a ceremony in Kabul provided details about his meeting with Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and optimistically declared that Pakistan does not want the return of the Islamic emirate in Afghanistan.

“The Honorable Chief of Staff of Pakistan, when visiting Kabul with his colleagues, made it clear that the revival of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan is not in the national interest of Pakistan, and they supported the republic.”

Two days after that, National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib harshly criticized Pakistan’s policies in Afghanistan during a visit to Nangarhar province on Saturday.

“ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, is not doing mercy on you (Taliban). They neither want you nor they will help to take power. All they have told you are a lie. The only thing they want from you is that they are sacrificing you for themselves and for their own war,” Mohib said.

The Presidential Palace rejected any deal with Pakistan and assured that Afghanistan has a unified policy toward Pakistan.

“The government and people of Afghanistan have always protested Pakistan’s role in the war in Afghanistan. In the new chapter of relations, Pakistan is expected to choose the path of friendship with the Afghan people and play a more practical role in advancing the Afghan Peace Process,” said Mohammad Amiri, deputy spokesman to President Ashraf Ghani.

Diplomatic relationships between Kabul and Islamabad have been marked with tensions over the last two decades.

However, the new government in Pakistan, led by Imran Khan, has assured the Afghan government of a positive change in its policy towards Afghanistan, but the Afghan government officials say Pakistan’s remarks are always symbolic.