Pakistan rejects Afghan allegations about attacks, cross-border shelling

FO asks Afghanistan to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries in its territory

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday rejected allegations by Afghanistan against Pakistan and said that Islamabad is taking notice of the situation in Afghanistan.

Addressing a weekly briefing here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said that it was deeply dismaying that the spate of Afghan allegations, maligning Pakistan's national security institutions, continues unabated.

She said that Pakistan reiterates its categorical rejection of the Afghan allegations of involvement in terrorist attacks, insurgent activities or cross-border shelling. About recent statements by Afghan National Security Council and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the spokesperson said it was deeply dismaying and disappointing.

"We also firmly reject any statements casting aspersions on Pakistan's commitment to fight terrorism,” she said. “As we have repeatedly emphasized that terrorism is a common enemy afflicting the whole region and concerted efforts must be made by all sides for combating it effectively,” she said.

The spokesperson said leveling baseless allegations serves no useful purpose and it only benefits the enemies of peace and undermines the prospects of a cordial relationship between the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The launch of Zarb-e-Azb military operation was the clearest reflection of Pakistan's resolve to fight terrorism without any discrimination or distinction, she said.

She said the operation was dictated by Pakistan's own national interest and was backed by national consensus. With a view to ensure optimal results, it was imperative that necessary steps were taken by the Afghan authorities on their side of the border in blocking the fleeing terrorists and eliminating terrorist sanctuaries in the Afghan territory, she said.

Tasneem said it was equally essential that effective measures were instituted to strengthen border controls and surveillance by Afghanistan. "We hope that the Afghan side would reciprocate our policy of restraint and responsibility and our continued efforts for constructive engagement,” she added.

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