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ISLAMABAD: The National Security Adviser (NSA), Dr Moeed Yusuf Thursday rejected the allegations of supporting the Afghan Taliban, saying that the Afghan government had opposed Pakistan’s proposal for a strict border management to check illegal crossings of the unwanted people.

In an interview with the BBC, the NSA referred to the recent social media trends such as #SanctionPakistan, saying that the accounts used in the trends were from Afghanistan and India.

He pointed out that violence in Afghanistan is increasing and the world needs to focus on how to get a political settlement immediately, so that Afghan lives are spared. “We can play the blame game. That’s fine. We can continue to [do] that. Right now, Pakistan’s only focus is on peace – political settlement – And working with the US and others who seem to have abandoned Afghanistan yet again…We have to make this [peace] happen for the sake of common Afghans.”

When his attention was drawn to the comments by opposition members such as former senator Afrasiab Khattak who had alleged that “the civilian government is a different entity and it is the security establishment that are funding, supporting and training the Taliban” as well as the recent statement by Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad that “sometimes dead bodies [of Taliban] arrive in Pakistan and sometimes they arrive to get medical treatment,” the NSA pointed out that there are a large number of Afghan refugees of which some have married in Pakistan and some of them were born in Pakistan.

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“Because the world abandoned Afghanistan, as it is doing now. We had to deal with these people who have trust upon us. Pakistan hosts 3.5 million refugees even today. You don’t have any other country which has been so generous,” he added.

To the anchor’s question about former president Gen Musharraf’s alleged statement that “we used the Taliban for a proxy war in Afghanistan” and about the “sanctuaries” by former ISI chief Gen Asad Durrani, Yusuf said Durrani retired 25 years ago, when Pakistan and the US were fighting the great war against Soviet Union for which Pakistan was eulogised.

“I don’t want to talk about the past. Let me say this very simply, Pakistan stands for peace,” he asserted, adding that Afghanistan, which is falling to Taliban happens to be a neighbouring country to Pakistan. Responding further to the allegations of cross-border movement of terrorists, the NSA said that Pakistan had shared various proposals with the Afghan government, including strict border management. “You say people move from here [Pakistan]. Let me tell you, Pakistan has fenced the entire border. Pakistan has said [to the Afghan government], let’s put biometric, so that we know every single person crossing. Afghanistan government refused. Fencing, they opposed,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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