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Indo-Afghan ties concerns Islamabad: Diplomat

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AT-KABUL: A senior Afghan diplomat says that Islamabad has certain demands from Kabul that he believes can be discussed. Hekmat Khalil Karzai, deputy foreign minister said that Pakistani authorities do not frankly speak about their demands, but “relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s immediate rival, India is a matter of concern for Islamabad”.

He added that Afghanistan was ready to set talks with Pakistan in the two states’ level. “We have repeatedly spoken over our demands from Pakistan and that is that Islamabad shouldn’t use terrorism as a tool.”

“Although Pakistanis do not open their viewpoints, but they say that Afghan and Indian spy agencies are close to each other. They had previously claimed that India has 12 consulates across Afghanistan which is not true. Therefore, we call on them to come and sit with us behind the negotiation table,” Karzai said.

Though Karzai didn’t say that the Durand Line is also part of Islamabad’s demands, but hinted that the border issue is beyond the government’s authority. “This is a national issue and needs to be discussed and decided by people through a Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly).”

He added that the world’s increasing pressures on Pakistan have created hopes that Islamabad would cooperate with the Afghan peace program.