ISLAMABAD: The United States on Wednesday ruled out having any evidence that suggested that India was using Afghan soil to perpetrate terrorism in Pakistan.
Islamabad has long been accusing Kabul of allowing New Delhi to create instability in Pakistan and often blames foreign elements (a reference to India) for acts of violence principally in the volatile Balochistan province, northwestern Gilgit-Baltistan region and the southern port city of Karachi.
“I don’t have the evidence (for) what you’re referring to but our policy is clear, that no country should support non-state actors,” Alice Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs told journalists at the US embassy in Islamabad when asked about Pakistan’s longstanding allegation that India was sponsoring terrorism from Afghanistan.
Wells had arrived in Islamabad on Monday morning as part of a delegation headed by US special envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad. Both Wells and Khalilzad held a series of meetings with Pakistan’s civilian and military leaderships in Islamabad.
The American diplomat said her country would never condone or support any use of terrorist proxies against another country.
“We have been working very actively with Pakistan to combat whether it’s Al Qaeda or TTP (sic). Any terrorist attacking Pakistan is our enemy and we share very strong counter-terrorism objectives in defeating extremist forces,” Wells reportedly said.
She stated that the US had no information regarding the Pakistan army’s latest allegations that Afghan and Indian secret agencies were funding the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM, also Pashtun protection movement).
On Monday, the Pakistan Army spokesman, Major General Asif Ghafoor, levelled serious allegations against the PTM leaders, accusing them of receiving funds from the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) and India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
About the prospects for resumption of dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi after the polls in India, Wells linked the progress to Pakistan’s commitment to not allow its territory to be used against its eastern neighbour.
Wells said Washington welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s public statements affirming his resolve not to allow Pakistan’s soil to be used against any other country.
“I would positively note the many comments the prime minister has made in public underscoring his government’s commitment of moving away from non-state actors to ensuring that the national action plan that Pakistan has forged is implemented,” she said.