KABUL: Afghanistan is keen to work with Pakistan to fight Islamic extremism, but Islamabad must rein in elements in the government that are “out of control,” the Afghan foreign minister said Wednesday. Relations between the neighbours plummeted last month when Afghanistan directly accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency of involvement in a suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul that killed more than 60 people.
A meeting Sunday between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, in which the leaders agreed to “re-engage” to fight extremism, would pave the way for more collaboration, the minister said. But that did not mean Afghanistan was stepping back from “our strong position in the war on terror and those secret organisations in Pakistan are supporting terrorism,” Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta told reporters.
This appeared to be a reference to circles in the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, which Karzai and US officials allege are fomenting unrest in Afghanistan. Pakistan has also been hit by a wave of extremist violence. “The elected government of Pakistan is in a very difficult position… in some countries there are governments within the government which are out of the control of the legitimate institutions,” Spanta said.
While Kabul could trust Pakistan’s civilian authority, groups that were “using terrorism as a tool” and “interfering in others’ affairs must be fought and we don’t trust such groups,” he said. “We hope the civilian government of Pakistan, which has been elected by the will of the people, is able to bring under control those who are acting outside the laws of Pakistan.”
Afghanistan has been experiencing growing insurgent attacks since the 1996-2001 Taliban regime was removed from power in a US-led invasion for harboring Al-Qaeda.-SANA