Release of Taliban detainees: Pakistan took money, claims ex-Afghan spymaster

Former Afghan spymaster Amrullah Saleh accused Pakistan on Tuesday of taking money from Afghanistan for the recent release of Taliban cadres.

In the Express News programme “Sarhad Ke Us Paar”, the former head of National Directorate of Security (NDS) claimed that the Pakistani government had even offered to mediate between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

“Pakistan is no longer denying to having harboured the Taliban leadership, and its government is now putting a high price tag on the Taliban and saying if you pay the price we are going to push these guys for reconciliation and we know what the price tag is,” said Saleh, who is known for his anti-Pakistan statements.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry rejected Saleh’s claims outright, saying neither did the government take money from Afghanistan for releasing the prisoners, nor did they offer any mediation.

“Pakistan encourages an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue and is committed to it,” the foreign ministry spokesperson told Express News.

Saleh also alleged that Pakistan has been treating Afghanistan as a ‘sub-nation’ and wished to ‘dominate’ the war-torn country.

“Pakistan has monopolised the right to have all sorts of foreign relations itself and when it comes to Afghanistan, they want to create limitations for us; treating us not as a nation, but as sub-nation, as to who we should talk to or who should be our allies,” he added.

During the programme, Awami National Party Senator Haji Adeel conceded that Pakistan has made mistakes in the past when “undemocratic people ruled the country”.

“We treated Afghanistan as another province, I think now the policy has changed. Even our establishment, our agencies and our elected government are now following their own tradition.”

“If Afghanistan wants friendly ties with India, why should we object? I think Afghanistan is independent and Afghan people can solve their own problems.”

He added that with the efforts of President Asif Zardari and President Karzai, the relations are relatively better.

Moreover, Afghan Deputy National Security Adviser Rahmatullah Nabil called on the Afghan people to support the Afghan security forces to defend the country.

“People of Afghanistan and the government of Afghanistan will continue their voice of peace. We should be more united, more mobilised and not be deceived by them,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2013.



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