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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