Pakistan Calls for
Cooperative Relationship with Afghanistan
December 8, 2011
Pakistan says it is time to put an end to accusations and move forward
in a cooperative relationship with neighboring Afghanistan, after Afghan
authorities blamed Pakistan-based militants for a massive suicide
Pakistani foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters Thursday
that blaming Pakistan for “unfounded events” creates problems, and
Islamabad wants a relationship that is free of recrimination.
The comments came a day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed to
confront Pakistan about a suicide attack targeting Shi'ite Muslims in
Kabul, which killed 55 people on Tuesday.
Mr. Karzai said he blames Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni extremist group
affiliated with al-Qaida that is responsible for a number of attacks
against Shi'ites in Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities have been hunting members of the outlawed group
for years. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday pledged
to take action if Afghan authorities offer any proof to support their
claim. But he also warned against making “baseless accusations.”
Tuesday's blast in Kabul took place near the Abul Fazel shrine as
worshippers gathered on Ashura, the holiest day of the Shi'ite Muslim
calendar. A second explosion killed four people at a shrine in the
northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
Taliban condemned the killings, calling them “cruel and indiscriminate”
and blaming them on the “invading enemy.” The group also denied any
involvement in the attacks, but Lashkar-e-Jhangvi appears to have
claimed responsibility for the Kabul carnage.
Experts say the attacks, which came in the aftermath of an international
conference to discuss Afghanistan's future following the withdrawal of
coalition combat troops by the end of 2014, underscore the importance of
what was agreed in Bonn — that all countries in the region need to
cooperate in securing long-term stability for Afghanistan.
Pakistan boycotted the conference in protest of a NATO cross-border
attack that killed 24 Pakistani troops on November 26.