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Karzai, Taliban Rap Pak Comments on Afghan Peace Talks

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Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai

Former Afghan president Karzai objects to Pak comments linking Afghan peace with Kashmir. !Comments in Pakistan linking peace in Afghanistan to their objectives in Kashmir are indicative of Pakistan viewing Afghanistan as strategic depth. I call on Pakistan government to stop using extremist violence as instrument of policy in the region”

Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has voiced unhappiness at some quarters in Pakistan linking peace in Afghanistan with Islamabad’s objectives in Kashmir, and also backed the new measures announced by India on Jammu and Kashmir.

“Comments in Pakistan linking peace in Afghanistan to their objectives in Kashmir are indicative of Pakistan viewing Afghanistan as strategic depth. I call on Pakistan government to stop using extremist violence as instrument of policy in the region,” said Karzai in a tweet.

“We hope the new measures by govt of India will lead to the betterment and prosperity of people in Jammu and Kashmir as the citizens of India, he added, referring to India revoking special status for J&K.

Afghans had reacted angrily on social media to remarks by Pakistani opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif in Parliament on Tuesday.

“What kind of a deal is this that the Afghans enjoy and celebrate peace in Kabul, but in Kashmir, blood is shed? No, this is not acceptable for us,” said Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party chief.

Taliban protest

The Taliban on Thursday said the India-Pakistan rift over Kashmir should not be linked with the situation in Afghanistan.

“Linking the issue of Kashmir with that of Afghanistan by some parties will not aid in improving the crisis at hand because the issue of Afghanistan is not related nor should Afghanistan be turned into the theatre of competition between other countries,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said in a statement, reported Anadolu news agency.

Meanwhile, the Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul on Thursday clarified that the India-Pakistan rift over Kashmir would not affect the peace drive in Afghanistan.

Addressing a news conference, Zahid Nasrullah Khan, ambassador of Pakistan, said: “The issue of Kashmir has nothing to do with the violence in Afghanistan and it is unfortunately still unresolved, despite the so many sacrifices and acts of human rights abuses against the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

The Indian government on Monday revoked special status of Jammu and Kashmir, inviting an angry reaction from Pakistan which has expelled the Indian envoy.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan has said that a new 15-member government-led team, consisting of politicians, civil rights activists and representatives of ethnic groups, will soon “meet face to face” with the Taliban, seeking to achieve lasting peace in the war-torn country.

Afghanistan’s Charge d’Affaires in India, Tahir Qadiry, told reporters in New Delhi that the team will also have “women members”.

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