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Never asked Afghanistan to cut ties with India: Pak

March 29, 2013 22:43 IST

Pakistan on Friday rejected Afghanistan's contention that Islamabad had imposed several pre-conditions, including cutting ties with India, for the peace process in the war-torn country.

Referring to a statement attributed to the spokesman of the Afghan President -- that Pakistan had imposed pre-conditions for the peace process -- Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that Islamabad had not "laid down any pre-conditions for the peace process".

"Pakistan is wholeheartedly supporting and facilitating the peace process without any conditions or preference for any particular group or party," Chaudhry said in a statement issued on Friday evening.

"Pakistan did not demand that Afghanistan should cut all ties with India. Pakistan has no objection or issue with Afghanistan developing relations with any country. We have only stressed that those external forces which are using the soil of Afghanistan to destabilise Pakistan should be discouraged," he said.

Chaudhry further said the proposal for a ‘Strategic Partnership Agreement’ between Pakistan and Afghanistan had emanated from President Hamid Karzai and the Pakistan government had welcomed the proposal.

On the issue of sending Afghan Army officers to Pakistan for training, Chaudhry said this offer was made by the Pakistan government "in goodwill to contribute to the training needs of the security forces of Afghanistan".

"This was not a pre-condition but an offer made in goodwill. Pakistan remains fully committed to facilitating peace, reconciliation and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan's offers of goodwill should not be construed as pre-conditions," he said.

Over the past few days, the Afghan government has cancelled a visit to Pakistan by its army officers over cross-border artillery shelling by Pakistani troops.

Pakistan said its troops had only responded to actions by militants based in Afghan soil.

Rezaul H Laskar
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