India’s influence in Afghanistan has created chaos in the war-torn country, Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif said on Monday.
“Pakistan is against India’s intervention in Afghanistan,” Asif told the media after the fourth round of Pakistan-US Track-II diplomatic talks in Islamabad, Geo reported.
The minister also emphasised the need for immediate removal of what he called terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan, adding the US Afghan policy was damaging the reconciliation process in the country.
Asif added that Afghanistan’s economy and structure had been hampered and damaged by years of war and there were multiple pressure groups which wanted the war to continue.
He said Islamabad suggested that Afghan refugees in Pakistan needed to be sent home. But US officials objected, saying Kabul was “too unstable”.
“It is not our problem,” Asif said referring to the refugees. “The US can invest in the replacement of these refugees to their home country.”
He added that US-Pakistan relations needed to be worked on and the “blame game” needed to end so that both countries may work towards mutual understanding.
Earlier, US ambassador David Hale said India’s role in Afghanistan was restricted to only economic assistance. He added that both Pakistan and India needed to improve relations and urged both countries to make efforts for regional peace.
Hale said the US had told Pakistani officials to take decisive action against terrorists active from its soil.
“US secretary of state Rex Tillerson has conveyed to the political and military leadership in Pakistan that the Pakistan-US relations are at a crucial juncture and if they don’t cooperate, we will act accordingly,” he said.
The meeting in Islamabad was also attended by foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua, Hale and Wilson Center Asia Programme Deputy Director Michael Kugelman among others.