Pakistan rejects report on operative's presence in Afghan hospital

Pakistan on Friday rejected a US media report about the alleged presence of its operative in the MSF hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz that was hit by NATO air strikes that killed 22 people earlier this month.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday rejected a US media report about the alleged presence of its operative in the MSF hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz that was hit by NATO air strikes that killed 22 people earlier this month.

A news report yesterday quoting US sources said that the hospital was hit as it was believed to be used by a Pakistani operative aiding Taliban militants.

Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah rejected the allegations levelled in the news report. "Allegations implicating Pakistan are baseless," he said.

"I want to reiterate that non-interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs is a key pillar of our Afghan policy," he said.

The spokesman said Pakistan was committed to prevent use of its soil against any other country.

The attack on October 3 killed at least 22 patients and hospital staff for which the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity blamed the US military, forcing President Barack Obama to issue an apology.

A Pakistani security official said on condition of anonymity that blaming a "Pakistani operative" was an afterthought as pressure was mounting on the US to come clean on the attack.

"If they had reports about presence of any suspect, then ground troops could have been involved than bombing the entire facility," he said.

The fall of Kunduz was a major setback for the NATO troops as well as the Afghan government fighting a resurgent Taliban.

Obama has now said that US troops will stay on in Afghanistan till the end of 2017.

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