With the great game unfolding rapidly after the sudden US drawback from Afghanistan, regional players are trying to take control of the deteriorating situation on the ground. And as usual Pakistan is ratcheting up the negative volume by targeting India.
Referring to the oversized Indian footprint in Afghanistan, the Pakistan military has said New Delhi’s investment was aimed at establishing influence in an effort to damage Islamabad’s interests.
“The prevailing situation has caused huge frustration on the Indian side,” The Express Tribune quoted Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), as saying in a television interview on Saturday.
The ISPR is the media wing of Pakistan’s military.
“Now, Delhi has moved its spoilers in different directions to blame Pakistan for the unrest in Afghanistan, but the Indian propaganda would not get any traction because the world has realized that Pakistan has made earnest efforts to resolve the Afghan issue according to the aspirations of the local populace.
“Pakistan is only a facilitator of the Afghan peace process ï¿½ not a guarantor.
“Pakistan has no favorites among the Afghan stakeholders. The Afghans have to choose their leadership. In case of any deadlock, we can assist. Pakistan has made all-out efforts but it cannot go beyond its limits.
“Afghans have the capacity and capability to decide their future course,” he added.
As far as Pakistan is concerned, it has made sincere efforts for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, he said as per The Express Tribune report.
“In the past 20 years, the US military has trained the Afghan National Army which has the strength and capability and its own air force,” Maj Gen Iftikhar said.
“Trillions of dollars have been spent on them. And as a professional soldier, I believe they should be able to fight this (Taliban) onslaught as a professional force.”
Like in the past, Pakistan could face the spillover effect of a civil war in Afghanistan, he said.
“We were very well aware of that and we have taken several measures to deal with the situation.”
He added that the so-called Khorasan franchise of Islamic State, the TTP and its affiliates were using their bases in Afghanistan to orchestrate attacks on Pakistan’s armed forces, the report said.
About the possible influx of Afghan refugees, he said that the Interior Ministry has already put together a contingency plan for this purpose.