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December 8, 2001
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Pak rejects Qanooni's allegation of interference in Afghanistan

K J M Varma in Islamabad

Pakistan on Saturday rejected Afghan Interior Minister Younous Qanooni's allegations that it interfered in the affairs of Kabul and denied reports that it sent a huge consignment of weapons to Taliban at the height of the US war in Afghanistan.

Reacting to Qanooni's comments in New Delhi on Friday that Pakistan's policy of interference in Afghanistan has failed, Foreign Office Spokesman Aziz Ahmad Khan said Pakistan gave unstinted support to Afghanistan during the past two decades.

"We have not seen the text of his remarks. We categorically reject any such allegation. Pakistan in the past has made tremendous sacrifices to Afghanistan. Offered tremendous assistance. It became the frontline state to fight against Soviet invasion. Pakistan is a home for majority of Afghan leaders in exile," he said.

Khan said Pakistan maintained contacts with both sides of the divide.

"Pakistan's record in helping Afghanistan is obvious," he said.

Pakistan hoped that a new era of peace would be established in Afghanistan as a result of the Bonn agreement.

"We also hope that Pakistan will have friendly ties with all neighbours," he said.

Defence spokesman, Major General Rashid Qureshi, who was also present at the briefing, denied a New York Times story, which quoted some ISI officials as saying that Pakistan has sent arms shipments to Taliban regime as recently as October 8.

"These reports are absolutely false and incorrect. I can not imagine our intelligence officials who made these remarks," he said.

Terming the report as a 'malicious propaganda', Gen Qureshi said the suspicion of the foreign media was so much that some foreign journalists even tried to inspect the lorries that took humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan.

"I can name the foreign journalists who inspected the trucks. They have done it at random," he said, adding that the Taliban and Northern Alliance have acquired so many weapons during the Soviet occupation that they can export them to other countries.

Khan also denied knowledge of reports that Northern Alliance has handed over 156 captured Pakistanis to India for interrogation.

"We have no knowledge of these reports," he said.

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

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