Pakistan is not Afghanistan's enemy

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Regarding M. Ashraf Haidari's Sept. 16 letter to the editor, "Staying the course in Afghanistan":

It is unfortunate that only one day after the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Islamabad and expressed their vision for enhancing cooperation between the two countries against militancy and extremism, a senior Afghan official repeated an old tune blaming Pakistan's military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate for maladies afflicting our brotherly neighboring country.

This amounts to undermining the whole effort underway to rebuild regional security. As a part of Afghan national policy, such assessments have not helped in the past, either. Rather, they deepen the chasm to the advantage of militants.

Governance and in-house failings are rampant in Kabul. Though some of the failings may be understandable in view of the prolonged lawlessness in and around Kabul, Afghans and the international community are justified in demanding transparency and accountability after almost a decade of assistance and support. The worrying reality is that instead of acknowledging missteps and seeking improvement, Kabul parries corruption charges by maligning the Pakistan army and ISI.

Kabul should realize that by accusing Pakistani security organizations of being behind all the ills in Afghanistan, it points fingers at Islamabad. Contrary to what Mr. Haidari has said, Pakistan stands for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Imran Gardezi, Washington

The writer is press minister for the Embassy of Pakistan.

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