The National Security Council (NSC) of Afghanistan on Sunday called for the international community, especially the United States, to blacklist intelligence organisations that support insurgent groups, referring to Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.
The Deputy National Security Advisor Rahmatullah Nabil called on the Afghan people to unite against “Pakistan’s plots”, asking all Afghans to support the Afghan National Security Forces to defend the country.
“The interesting question is why is a terrorist blacklisted but the person who issues the Fatwa for them [to act] or who provides havens to them not blacklisted?” he said in a telephone interview with TOLOnews.
“Against these people, organisations at a global scale should unite. People of Afghanistan and the government of Afghanistan will continue their voice of peace, but unfortunately there is not much hope from Pakistan’s side and therefore we should rely more on the inside and be more united, more mobilised, and not be deceived by them,” he added.
It is the first time that a senior Afghan official has firmly said that Pakistan cannot be part of the solution in peace negotiations with the Taliban. However, it is not clear whether it will actually mean an end to Pakistan’s contribution.
The ex-spy chief’s comments come after the National Security Council meeting Sunday, chaired by President Hamid Karzai, which discussed peace talks and recent comments by the Pakistani Ulema Council chairman Tahir Ashrafi who “legitimised” the Taliban insurgency and said suicide attacks in Afghanistan were permitted under Islam as long as US forces were present.
“The government of Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan have endeavored to their last breath to have a good relationship with the government of Pakistan based on a virtue of neighbourliness. However in return, what did we see from Pakistan? They fire rockets, they send terrorists to our soil, they destroy our Jihadi leaders, clerics, influences, our Mihrabs, our tribe, our mothers, sisters, brothers, students, children, soldiers and police,” Nabil said.
“The head of the Pakistani clerics was introduced via an official letter of the foreign ministry to have a meeting between the clerics of Pakistan and Afghanistan… But unfortunately now they issue a religious Fatwa and consider Jihad in Afghanistan as permissible. Therefore this is their very shameless confession, that Pakistan does not want the people of Afghanistan to have a powerful state and to have people of Afghanistan living united in peace and calmness,” he added.
The Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) has also reacted strongly to the statement of the Pakistani clerics leader, releasing their own statement saying that the clerics’ declaration contradicts every Islamic principle.
It remarked that the people of Pakistan deserve better representation from their religious leaders, expecting the government of Pakistan to impede war-making individuals and groups.
At a gathering to discuss the statement from Pakistani clerics, member of the committee of scholars and Imams, Enayatullah Sharifi said: “The head of Pakistani clerics is not one to issue a Fatwa; what he has stated is void.”
“Pakistan should stop these Islamic aberrations from their country,” said Abdulbaseer, head of the scholars of Kabul Zone 7.
What the deputy of the National Security Council has said might indicate a change in Afghanistan’s strategies against Pakistan as it could be seen as a failure in previous policies between the two countries.
The Pakistani Ulema last week declined to attend a joint Af-Pak Ulema meeting, initially scheduled to happen in March in Kabul. The Afghan government had wanted to use the opportunity to denounce the Taliban’s war and to have the use of suicide bombers declared Haram (prohibited under Islam).