The shoe is now on the other foot


Pakistan strongly deplored allegations made by Afghan and Indian diplomats that terrorists use its territory as a safe haven, saying the country’s border with Afghanistan has been fenced and there is no free flow of people.
“We would never allow our soil to be used to destabilize Afghanistan and expect the same from Afghanistan,” Ambassador Munir Akram told a Press conference hours after the UN Security Council discussed the situation in the war-torn country.
Afghanistan sought the 15-member body’s meeting as the Taliban continue to achieve territorial gains in the country.
Fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces has raged since April when US and coalition forces began their withdrawal from the country. The withdrawal is set to be completed later this month. At his press conference, Ambassador Akram also criticized India, the council president for the month of August, for denying Pakistan an opportunity to address the Security Council as a neighbouring country with a direct stake in peace in Afghanistan.
“We made a formal request for participation but it was denied,” he told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York. “Obviously, we do not expect fairness from the Indian presidency for Pakistan.”
Pakistan’s complete statement on the situation in Afghanistan will be will be circulated to the UNSC members, he said.
Rejecting allegations about safe havens and sanctuaries as well as cross-borders movements of Taliban fighters as “mere fantasies”, the Pakistani envoy said, “Pakistan has eliminated terrorist groups from its soil. There are no safe havens in Pakistan.”
“Terrorism possesses a huge challenge to Afghanistan, to its neighbouring countries, particularly Pakistan,” Ambassador Akram said, while urging the international community to prevent the Afghan territory from being used by Al Qaeda, Da’esh and other international terrorist groups like Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) to carry out attacks against any country.
“Pakistan is especially concerned at the support being provided to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Jamat ul Ahrar (JuA) by a third country,” he said, adding, “So, the shoe is now is on the other foot.”