Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
February 1, 2018
Dozens of angry protesters have gathered outside the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul, chanting slogans such as “Death to Pakistan” and burning flags of the country.
The demonstration on February 1 came as senior Afghan officials returned from a visit to Islamabad, where they had pressed Pakistani authorities to act against militants based in the country.
The delegation included Afghan intelligence chief Masoom Stanekzai and Interior Minister Wais Barmak, who told a news conference in Kabul that Afghanistan laid out evidence that militants who carried out recent deadly attacks in Afghanistan were trained in Pakistan.
“We provided Pakistan with documents about Taliban operating centers inside Pakistan and we expect Pakistan to act against them,” said Barmak.
In a statement, Pakistan’s Embassy in Kabul said the information provided was being “examined for its authenticity.”
Meanwhile, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif visited the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad and said that the two neighboring states “can successfully fight the war against terror through mutual trust,” Pakistan’s government said on Twitter.
The Afghan capital in recent weeks has been hit by several deadly assaults, including a massive suicide car bombing on January 27 that killed more than 100 people and was claimed by the Taliban.
Afghan officials said the attack was carried out by the extremist Haqqani network, which is based in Pakistan and allied with the Taliban.
Afghanistan, along with the United States, has long said the Haqqani network has found safe haven in Pakistan.
Islamabad denies harboring militant groups that carry out attacks in Afghanistan.
Tense relations between Kabul and Islamabad have prompted concern that Pakistan might push back the more than 2 million Afghans who are currently living in the country.
Pakistan’s government extended the stay of Afghan refugees in the country for 60 days late on January 31 as an earlier deadline expired.
A delegation led by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua is to visit Afghanistan on February 3 to hold “constructive and meaningful discussions” with Afghan officials on “all issues including counterterrorism, peace and reconciliation, and repatriation of refugees,” according to Pakistan’s Embassy in Kabul.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa
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