Afghanistan again threatens to retaliate against Pak militants’ intrusion

Afghanistan President Hamid KarzaiKabul, June 25: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman has warned Pakistan to stop its militants from crossing the international border to launch attacks in Afghanistan, otherwise Kabul would take action against such intrusion.

The spokesman’s comments echoed the views expressed by Karzai earlier this month, when he threatened to send troops into Pakistan to kill Taliban militants there if cross-border attacks did not stop.

Pakistan had reacted strongly to Karzai’s threat, saying only its forces would tackle militants on its soil. The gravity of the verbal brawl between the two sides was such that it even evoked a response from Washington.

“Karzai’s comments clarify the fact that terrorism in Afghanistan has external roots and terrorist groups exploiting Pakistan territory attack Afghan military and non-military installations. We request Pakistan not to allow terrorist groups to use its soil against Afghanistan, otherwise Afghanistan is obliged to take action in order to defend its nation and people.,” the Dawn quoted presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada as saying at a news conference.

Many Afghan officials and some analysts claim that elements within Pakistan’s intelligence agency which armed and funded the Taliban’s rise to power in the 1990s are still backing the austere Islamist group to ensure Afghanistan remains weak.

“All the evidence indicates Afghanistan is being interfered with and the challenges are very great because foreign countries and their intelligence departments support the terrorist groups,” Hamidzada said, and added that a foreign intelligence agency was also involved in an attempt to assassinate Karzai in April this year.

The spokesman further said: “I don’t want to go into details but the primary investigation and evidence in hand indicate at least one foreign intelligence department was clearly involved in the terrorist operation on April 27.”

Afghan officials say many of the militants who cross the porous border to fight the government and international troops in Afghanistan are Pakistani and Arab nationals. Up to 400 Taliban seized seven villages in Arghandab district near Kandahar last week before being driven out by the Afghan army which killed nearly 100 insurgents.

Most of the militants were foreigners, Hamidzada said.

“The Kandahar authorities and the governor have shown the dead bodies there who were not Afghans; the majority were foreign fighters,” he said, adding: “The communication between the enemies during the operation in Arghandab was ... in a foreign language.” (ANI)