ISI Chief asks Ashraf Ghani
to stop ‘blame-game’

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TASHKENT: Chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed on Friday dismissed a statement made by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during an international summit in Uzbekistan wherein he claimed that “jihadi fighters” were entering his country from Pakistan and other places in the world.

Hameed denied the allegation while talking to a Pakistani TV channel in Tashkent, adding it was Pakistan that faced the threat of infiltration from Afghanistan. “We want peace in the neighbouring country since a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and other countries,” he maintained.

DG-ISI, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed

The ISI chief reiterated his country was not supporting any faction in Afghanistan and was interested in a negotiated settlement among all Afghan groups.

Faiz Hameed said Afghanistan should stop blame-game as it was not beneficial for the two countries. He said proof of Afghanistan’s intrusion into Pakistan were handed over to the Afghan authorities in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed was part of the delegation which attended the South and Central Asia Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunity conference, hosted by Uzbekistan.

After talks between PM Imran Khan and President Ashraf Ghani at the conference hall, the ISI chief told the correspond that Pakistani security forces were being attacked at Pak-Afghan border, resulting in martyrdom of Pak armed forces personnel. In such a situation, blaming Pakistan for intrusion into Afghanistan was totally wrong.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in conversation with DG ISI Faiz Hameed at the PM Office in Islamabad.

The world recognised Pakistan’s sacrifices for maintaining peace in Afghanistan. “We lost 70,000 precious lives in the war against terrorism, besides losing billions of dollars in infrastructure destruction. We stand for peaceful and stable Afghanistan and will continue efforts to establish peace there,” he added.

He said that the Afghan peace conference, scheduled to be held in Islamabad on 17-19 July 2021 had been postponed, and not cancelled due to pressing engagements and Asia and Central Asia Connectivity conference. It will be rescheduled shortly, he said.

Ashraf Ghani

Earlier, the Afghan president claimed in his speech that Pakistan was supporting the Taliban while asking Islamabad to use its influence with the group to facilitate peace in Afghanistan.

“Intelligence estimates indicate the influx of over 10,000 jihadi fighters from Pakistan and other places in the last month as well as support from their affiliates and the transnational terrorist organizations,” Ghani told the Uzbekistan summit focusing on regional connectivity between South and Central Asia.