Thursday, November 23, 2017

Pakistan warns of RAW’s nexus with terrorist groups in Afghanistan

The Newspaper's Staff ReporterNovember 24, 2017

FO spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal says Switzerland realised that Mehran Marri was a threat to their national security and decided to deny him entry.

ISLAMABAD: The For­ei­gn Office again warned on Thursday of Indian intelligence agency RAW’s nexus with terrorist groups in Afghanistan and asked Kabul and Nato’s Resolute Support Mission to prevent Afghan soil from being used against Pakistan.

“We have information that RAW has developed a robust network with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), JuA and other terrorist groups in Afghanis­tan and they are being used for subversive activities in Pakistan,” FO spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said at the weekly media briefing.

Pakistan has on several occasions in the past warned of sanctuaries of the TTP, JuA, militant Islamic State group and other terrorist outfits in Afghanistan from where they have been carrying out attacks here. The latest warning has come amid fresh alerts that terrorists based in Afghanistan are planning attacks in Pakis­tan with the connivance of RAW.

Dr Faisal recalled that Afghanistan and the US had in the past been provided with intelligence regarding the presence of terrorists along the border and action against them had been demanded.


“We … expect Afghanis­tan to take action against these terrorist groups. Afgha­nistan should not allow its territory to be used by India against Pakistan,” he said, adding that 43 per cent of Afghan territory was ungoverned, which provided space for sanctuaries and safe havens for terrorist outfits.

Commenting on media reports about a US offer to act on Pakistani intelligence against elements involv­ed in cross-border attacks, the spokesman said nothing had been officially conveyed to Pakistan except for the media statements. “If there is any such offer it would be a welcome development,” he maintained.

The issue would be on the agenda when Secretary James Mattis visits Islam­abad early next month.

“Pakistan and the US are engaged in discussing all issues of mutual interest, including advancing peace and stability in the region,” Dr Faisal said.

Responding to a question about the Swiss government refusing entry to Mehran Marri, a Baloch separatist, and rejecting asylum application of Braha­mdagh Bugti, he said Pakistan continued “to impress upon friendly countries to deny space to all those who directly or indirectly threa­ten sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan”.

Both Bugti and Marri had claimed that Switzer­land had yielded to Pakis­tan’s pressure.

“We are determined to redouble our efforts in this regard. Switzerland has realised that Mehran Marri was a threat to their national interest/security and decided to deny him entry. It is not in favour of any country to allow terrorists on its soil,” the spokesman maintained.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2017

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