Afghan minister reacts against remarks

Afghan minister reacts against remarks of Pakistani FM on Durand Line

Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Muhibullah Samim, has reacted against recent remarks made by Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on the Durand Line, accusing him of “obvious interference” in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

Qureshi’s remarks indicates Pakistan is still pursuing its policy of “strategic depth” in Afghanistan and has not brought any changes in its position towards Afghanistan, the Afghan minister said in a press conference held today, June 21, in Kabul.

“I think if we want to move ahead and sort of coexist as good neighbors that we desire then I think let’s accept the international border,” Pakistan’s foreign minister answered when he was asked about the Durand Line in an exclusive interview with TOLOnews aired on Saturday, June 19.

The Afghan minister further asked Pakistan’s government to respect Afghanistan as its neighbor and avoid any tendentious remarks about Afghanistan.

In his interview, Mr. Qureshi admitted that the Taliban have relations in Pakistan but he rejected the group’s leadership presence in Pakistan. “The bulk of their leadership, and I say this in confidence, is not living in Pakistan, in fact, is living in Afghanistan.”

Mr. Samim, however, rejected Qureshi’s remarks in this regard, saying everyone and the whole world know it that the group’s leadership lives in Pakistan. “Pakistan is fearing from a strong Afghanistan,” the Afghan minister stated.

Durand Line is a controversial border point between the neighboring countries and some political commentators believe that it is one the most driving factors behind Pakistan’s interference in Afghanistan domestic affairs.