Pak seeks clarification on Karzai`s remarks

Pakistan on Thursday said it was seeking clarification from Afghanistan for "incomprehensible" remarks made by President Hamid Karzai calling on his Western allies to destroy militant sanctuaries in Pakistani territory.

Updated: Jul 29, 2010, 22:33 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said it was
seeking clarification from Afghanistan for "incomprehensible"
remarks made by President Hamid Karzai calling on his Western
allies to destroy militant sanctuaries in Pakistani territory.

"We have asked our ambassador in Kabul to seek
clarification as to why these remarks have been made," Foreign
Office spokesman Abdul Basit said here.
He was responding to a question at a weekly news
briefing on the Afghan President`s comments.

The spokesman described remarks made by Karzai and
his National Security Advisor Rangeen Dadfar Spanta as
"incomprehensible".

Basit noted that Pakistan and Afghanistan had been
"cooperating closely" in the fight against terrorism for the
past two years.

"We do not see any reason as to why these remarks
should have been made by President Karzai," Basit said.

Though Karzai did not name Pakistan in his remarks,
it was obvious he was referring to the country when he said
today that the campaign against terror linked to "the
sanctuaries, funding centres and training places of terrorism
which are outside Afghanistan".

"Whether we are able to destroy these sanctuaries or
not is another question. We will try what we can...Our
international allies have this ability, but the question is
why they are not doing it?" Karzai said during a news
conference in Kabul.
His remarks came two days after his National Security
Advisor urged the West to review its policy towards Pakistan
after secret US documents disclosed by WikiLeaks pointed to
links between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan?s Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) agency.

Basit contended that Afghan and Western officials were
basing their remarks on the secret US military files leaked by
WikiLeaks even though the material amounted to "raw
intelligence and disinformation".

He added: "So you cannot draw right conclusions from
misguided reports."

Afghanistan has often accused the ISI of supporting
Taliban insurgents and having a role in attacks against
Afghan, US and Indian targets in the country.

Pakistan denies the charges.

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources said the latest remarks
by Karzai could affect the scheduling of his proposed visit to
Islamabad.

A visit by Karzai to the Pakistani capital has been in
the pipeline for some time now but the two sides are yet to
work out dates for the trip. The remarks against Pakistan by
Karzai would have an impact on the scheduling of his visit,
the sources said.

PTI