Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi harshly reacted to recent remarks by Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib and said it will harm the efforts to forge peace talks with the Taliban but reiterated that such statements will not impact Kabul-Islamabad ties.
“Today, I am saying it out loud. Listen to me closely,” Qureshi said at a gathering on Saturday, calling out the Afghan NSA: “Pakistan has paid a high price, we have transferred coffins on our shoulders. We are talking about peace, we are talking about stability, but the words that you are using--you are putting the blame on Pakistan, I, as the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, am telling you that if you do not stop such remarks, no conscientious Pakistani will shake hands with you or talk with you.”
On May 13, Mohib during a trip to the eastern province of Kandahar criticized Pakistan, saying that Pakistan--by supporting a power-mongering group--is expanding its territory in Afghanistan.
“Today our neighbor, whose evil goals are evident to Afghans and the world, is using a power-mongering group to once again weaken Afghanistan, and to once again gain more territory, which it cannot. And if it cannot do anything, it would own the part that was used as a tribal area and would remove the tribal people,” Mohib said on May 13.
Qureshi, meanwhile, defended Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace by mentioning the recent trip to Kabul by the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and other high-ranking officials.
“Imran Khan goes to Kabul for peace, Gen. Bajwa goes to Kabul for peace, the ISI chief goes to Kabul for peace, the foreign minister goes to Kabul for peace, and you are comparing Pakistan to a ‘brothel house'? You should be ashamed, and you should regret your words.”
Quoting diplomatic sources, VOA last month reported that Pakistan has stopped its official contacts with Mohib.