Monday June 27, 2022

India using Afghan soil against Pakistan: Kh Asif

March 07, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday said that India was using Afghanistan’s soil for acts of terrorism in Pakistan to destabilise the country.

Speaking on floor of the National Assembly, the defence minister said that India has outsourced the task of terrorism in Pakistan to those sitting in Afghanistan. He said Afghanistan in coordination with India is hatching conspiracies against security of Pakistan.

Khawaja Asif said that the decision of closing border with Afghanistan was a matter of national security and it should not be politicised adding that Pakistan wanted to have proper border management with the neighbouring country. 

He said there are 200 crossing points at the border and out of these nine are very active and 16 are active points. The minister said Pakistan has closed the border because the killers of sons of Pakistanis are hiding in Afghanistan. “We have closed the border because murderers of our sons are sitting near the border,” the minister said maintaining that they would take every step in the national interests. He said Pakistan has paid huge price of fight against terrorism. He said Pakistanis have sacrificed precious lives in the war against terrorism and bore financial loss worth two billion dollars.

Khawaja Asif said Pakistan had hosted 3.5 million Afghan refugees in the past and even now two million Afghans are living in Pakistan. He said peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan is inter-linked and by joint efforts they can eradicate the menace of terrorism from the region. He said if Afghanistan is willing to eliminate terrorism from its soil then Pakistan will support Afghanistan in this war.

The Defence Minister said that holding of the mega event of final of Pakistan Super League in Lahore was a message to the terrorists. “It was more than a cricket and was meant to giving a message to terrorists,” he said.

Referring to issue of reported action against Pakhtuns in Punjab as raised by the parliamentarians, the defence minister regretted that it was being related to East Pakistan saying the issue should not be politicized.

Khawaja Asif said that a wrong impression was being given about targeting Pakhtun community in the name of operation. “Terrorists have no religion neither they belong to any particular province,” he said adding the Pakhtun leaders should also play their role in dispelling the impression.

“Raising issues in this way can harm the national unity,” the minister said. The opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah said the defence minister had given startling disclosure about India’s involvement in acts of terrorism in Pakistan from Afghanistan. He said that joint sitting of the Parliament should be called on the issue.

“The opposition will play positive role at the joint sitting even whether it is in camera session,” Khurshid Shah said. Shah Mehmood Qureshi of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) said the opposition did not want political point scoring saying that they had always supported the Government on national issues.  “We had always supported the Government in national interests whether it is the National Action Plan (NAP) or 21st amendment,” the PTI leader said.