Afghanistan rubbishes Pak claims on Balochistan

He termed as “empty claim” Islamabad’s allegation that New Delhi was backing insurgents in Balochistan and was using its missions in Afghanistan to fuel unrest in Pakistan.

“Afghanistan never allowed other countries to interfere in  Pakistan’s domestic issues and India has never used Afghan territory against Pakistan. This is only an empty claim,” Spanta told journalists here.

The Afghan foreign minister is currently on a tour to New Delhi. He was reacting to Pakistani Prime Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s allegation that Islamabad had enough proof that India and Afghanistan were involved in the unrest in Balochistan. Malik made the allegation in a statement tabled in the Pakistani Senate last week.

Though Islamabad has since long been accusing New Delhi for the unrest in Balochistan, it returned under focus recently after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pak counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani had a bilateral meet in the Egyptian city of Sharm-El-Sheikh and issued a joint statement with a reference to the troubled province of Pakistan.

Spanta, however, said that Pakistan’s allegations were not new. “We need to have a closer relation against international terrorism in our region,” he said.

His remarks came close on the heels of reports in a section of Pakistani media that the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns had asked New Delhi to shut down or downsize some of its missions in Afghanistan. The Pakistan media termed the purported advice of Burns to Indian Government as an endorsement by the US of Islamabad’s allegations that India was using the missions in Afghanistan for fomenting troubles in Pakistan.

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