Pakistan, Afghanistan clash over peace process

Islamabad, July 6 (IANS) Kabul and Islamabad are again locked in a blame game on the elusive peace and reconciliation process in war-torn Afghanistan, reports Xinhua.

Senior Afghan civilian and military leaders have accused Pakistan of sheltering Afghan Taliban leaders pursuing armed attacks in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies the charge and insists it wants peace in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, Afghan army chief, General Sher Mohammad Karimi, said Pakistan controlled and sheltered Afghan Taliban leaders who continued to unleash its fighters in Afghanistan.

Gen Karimi told the BBC that fighting in Afghanistan could be stopped "in weeks" if Pakistan tells the Taliban to end the insurgency.

Pakistan was quick to reject the allegation, calling it "totally fabricated" and an attempt to malign the country.

Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said Islamabad had exercised extreme restraint in the face of what he called "highly provocative language" used by Afghan civil and military officials.

Days earlier, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Ershad Ahmadi claimed that Pakistan had advised the Afghan government to share power with the Taliban as part of a peace talks "end game".

"We believe this federalism is a means for the Pakistanis to achieve what they could not achieve through their proxy (Taliban) on the battlefield," Ahmadi said in Kabul.

In Islamabad, Chaudhry dismissed Ahmadi's claim as baseless and said no such proposal was made to the Afghan authorities.

At a press conference in Kabul with British Prime Minister David Cameron over the weekend, President Hamid Karzai said efforts had been made during the past six months to impose federalism on Afghanistan through the Taliban or by handing over one or two places to the militant group under a power-sharing scheme.

"We have heard rumours from Pakistan as well and have reports that they have made efforts in this respect," Karzai said.

"I do not know what Pakistan's interest is in it because such a situation in Afghanistan will mostly be unfavourable for Pakistan," he said.

The opening of the Taliban office in Qatar June 18 was also viewed in Kabul as a "conspiracy" involving foreign countries.

In his weekly radio address late last month, Karzai said his government was frustrated with the "conspiracies by foreigners" against Afghanistan through the Qatar office.

Although Pakistan has insisted that its only role was to facilitate the Qatar peace process, Kabul remained unconvinced about this claim, widening the mistrust between the two neighbours.

Karzai also objected to the raising of Taliban's white flag at its Qatar office and a plaque bearing the words "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," which was the name given to the country during the Taliban rule.

He viewed the Taliban office as an embassy and a parallel government-in-exile.

The row over the Taliban flag and the plaque has heightened tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan and dashed hopes for the success of the peace process.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »