Pakistan rejects Afghan vice president’s accusations against PAF supporting Taliban

Delegation-level talks b/w Pakistan, Afghanistan underway in Tashkent

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan on Friday strongly rejected the allegations of Afghanistan’s Vice President Amrullah Saleh against the Pakistan Air Force trying to help the Taliban.

The Afghan vice president Thursday had accused the PAF of warning Afghan security forces that it would retaliate against any move to dislodge Taliban fighters in the strategic border region of Spin Boldak.

The Foreign Office said the “Pakistan Air Force never communicated anything to the Afghan Air Force”.

Giving the background of the situation, the Foreign Office said the Afghan side conveyed to Pakistan the intention of carrying out air operations inside its territory opposite the Chaman Sector of Pakistan.

The FO said Pakistan responded positively to the Afghan government’s right to act in its territory

In spite of very close border operations normally not acceded to by internationally accepted norms and standards, Pakistan took necessary measures within its territory to safeguard its own troops and population, it said.

The FO said Pakistan “acknowledged the Afghan government’s right to undertake actions on its sovereign territory”.

“However, as alleged by the Afghan Vice President, Pakistan Air Force never communicated anything to the Afghan Air Force,” it said.

The FO said such statements undermined Pakistan’s sincere efforts to play its part in an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led solution.

Pakistan lately rescued 40 Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) ranks, who fled to Pakistan and returned them to Afghanistan with respect and dignity, with a declared offer to ANDSF to provide all logistical support as requested.

“We remain committed to peace in Afghanistan and shall continue to endeavour towards this end irrespective of the detractors,” the FO said.

The FO said that it was important “at this critical juncture” that all energies were focused on achieving an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Peace Conference scheduled to be held in Islamabad from 17-19 July 2021 has been postponed, the Foreign Office confirmed on Friday.

The Foreign Office said the conference had been postponed until after Eid Al Azha.

“The new dates of the conference will be announced later,” the FO said.

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