India’s bid to ‘spoil’ Pak-Afghan ties will not succeed: Sartaj Aziz

India’s efforts to “spoil” Pak-Afghan ties will not succeed, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said as he downplayed Afghan President’s criticism of Pakistan’s support to terrorism, saying it was meant to “please” India.

“Ashraf Ghani’s (Afghan President) statement is regrettable. It shows anxiety in Kabul and is understandable due to deteriorating law and order situation,” Aziz said, adding that Ghani’s “statements were meant to please India”.

He said India’s efforts to divide Afghanistan and Pakistan will not go far as “we are next-door neighbours”.

“Indian efforts will not succeed to spoil Pakistan ties with Afghanistan, as our ties are religious and cultural. That is why we want that terrorism should end in Afghanistan,” he said on returning home after attending the Heart of Asia meeting in Amritsar.

“But our ties with Afghanistan are independent and we need to cooperate on several issues,” Aziz said.

He claimed that India was trying to use Afghanistan for its own advantage “but it will not succeed”.

Aziz also accused India of not treating the Pakistani media properly at the Heart of Asia meeting and said he was not allowed to have a press conference.

“The attitude towards media was not good. I wanted to have press interaction with our own media. But we were not allowed,” he alleged.

Afghan President Ghani had accused Pakistan of launching an “undeclared war” against his country by covertly supporting terror networks including the Taliban, and asked it to use its USD 500 million aid to check extremism on its soil.

He had also demanded an Asian or international regime to verify Pakistan-sponsored terror operations.

Aziz said Pakistan had reassured Ghani that its territory will not be used against Kabul.

“I reassured Ghani that we will not allow out territory to be used against Afghanistan. But also emphasised better border management,” said Aziz.

Aziz said the Afghan leader had a different idea about USD 500 million assistance pledged by Pakistan and proposed a trilateral commission with China to utilise the amount for welfare of Afghanistan.

(With inputs from PTI)

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