The Afghan National Security Advisor on Monday called on Islamabad to deny safe havens to terrorist groups inside Pakistan and adopt a non-interference policy towards Kabul.
Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, who visited Islamabad last Thursday, told reporters at the Presidential Palace that he had handed over a request letter to the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from President Hamid Karzai, calling on Pakistan to not be selective in the fight against terrorist groups.
President Karzai’s two other main requests in the letter were ending the cross-border shelling and release of Taliban prisoners in Pakistan’s custody who are willing to engage in a peace process with the Afghan government.
Pakistan had released nearly 20 Taliban prisoners earlier this year, including Taliban’s second-in-command, Mullah Baradar. The releases have not resulted in any breakthrough in the peace process and Islamabad has stopped releasing more prisoners.
Spanta’s visit to Islamabad comes after a delegation of Pakistani officials visited Kabul last week as a push to ease the relationship between the two neighbors, who both suffer from insurgents based in the border regions.
“Afghanistan is looking for a deep, sincere and broad friendship with Pakistan which should be based on good-neighborly relations,” Spanta said. “We want a comprehensive strategic relationship with Pakistan as well.”
The National Security Advisor, however, said that preconditions of Kabul are a “non-interference policy” of Pakistan towards Afghanistan and the “elimination of terrorist safe havens” inside Pakistan.
The Afghan official said that no country can use terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy towards another country, adding that if Pakistan accepts the Afghan preconditions, Kabul will also do its best to help Pakistan in their fight against Pakistani Taliban.
Pakistan has emphasized that a stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in the interest of Islamabad and would do all it can to help the peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Afghan security officials, including members of the country’s intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), will meet with their Pakistani counterparts in Islamabad this Thursday with the conversation focusing on Pakistan’s plans to fight terrorism in north Waziristan, the possible creation of a border patrol and the ongoing rocket attacks on parts of Kunar province.
Nearly 3,400 rockets have been fired on areas in eastern Afghanistan from Pakistan in the last 18 months, which has caused at least six civilian deaths and displaced more than 200 families from Kunar province, according to Afghan officials.
Islamabad has said that the border shelling is meant to target anti-Pakistan insurgents who, as Pakistan says, are sheltered inside Afghanistan.