ISI is no longer considered Taliban`s friend: Qureshi
Last Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 19:17
  
Washington: Pakistan's powerful ISI is no longer considered a "friend" of Taliban in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has claimed.

The Minister's remarks come amid strong concerns voiced by India about ISI's support for the Afghan Taliban, particularly in executing terror attacks targeting Indians.

"The way the ISI has been operating, and the way the ISI is being targeted by Taliban is in front of you. Look at their casualties. Look at the number of people that have been injured in the last year-and-a-half directly -- you know, ISI operators.

"Look at the way their different officers have been attacked at Peshawar, in Lahore, in Multan. It is very obvious that our side is no longer considered to be a friend of theirs," Qureshi told the popular 'Charlie Rose Show' telecast on PBS news channel.

He was asked about the relationship between ISI and Taliban in Afghanistan.

Arguing that it shares cultural, linguistic and ethnic commonalities with Afghanistan, Qureshi claimed that Pakistan has more stake in the war-torn country than India.

"Obviously, their (India's) interests (in Afghanistan) cannot be the same as ours because we share a border," he said.

"They (India) do not share a border (with Afghanistan). We have been impacted (by the events in Afghanistan). They (India) have not been impacted to that extent, because even today we have three million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan," he said when asked how he measures India's interest in Afghanistan.

Noting that Afghanistan is a land-locked country, Qureshi said that bulk of their trade is carried through Pakistan.

"Practically our economies are one. Culturally, linguistically, ethnically, there are commonalities which Afghanistan shares more with Pakistan than India."

PTI


First Published: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 19:17


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