London forum discarded India’s ‘greater’ Afghan role: Qureshi

* World accepts Islamabad’s stance that ‘Af-Pak’ policy not applicable to Pakistan
* Must engage elements willing to disarm

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

LONDON: Afghanistan’s six immediate neighbours, as well as China and Russia (six-plus-two), feel no need for a “greater Indian role” in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday.

Addressing a news conference at the Pakistan High Commission, Qureshi said the international community participating in the London Conference on Afghanistan had accepted Islamabad’s stance that a joint Pak-Afghan policy was no longer applicable to Pakistan, as both countries had their own distinct outlooks.He said the conference addressed Pakistan’s concerns regarding Afghanistan.

Af-Pak policy: “So this Af-Pak terminology was a mistake. We are two different countries with different levels of development. Our institutions and their capacities are different and today there was a clear departure from Af-Pak,” the foreign minister said. He said the conference also rejected new regional structure as advocated by certain elements.

Pakistan, Qureshi said, was of the opinion that the existing mechanisms in place were adequate and working well, and there was no need for new regional architecture. The foreign minister said as India had no border with Afghanistan, it did not fit into the scheme of things though it may continue to play a role in assisting development in Afghanistan. “We conveyed our point of view to Turkey in the trilateral and regional meetings held recently, we made our point loud and clear. In our interaction with various countries, we expressed our concern and today our point of view was understood and incorporated. The Afghan president and other important countries were of the view that there was no need for the new structure in the region.”

Engagement: Qureshi said Pakistan had been advocating that the international community would have to engage with elements willing to lay down arms and willing to shun violence. The international community, he added, endorsed this point of view. Qureshi said the Pakistani government had been pursuing a policy of dialogue, deterrence and development and the international community supported the point of view.

“So in many ways this conference was productive from Pakistan’s point of view,” he stressed. To a question, the foreign minister said Pakistan wanted the reconciliation and reintegration process to be “Afghan­owned and Afghan-led”, adding that President Hamid Karzai had asked Pakistan to help facilitate the reconciliation process with the Taliban.

“It is for the Afghans to take the lead and tell us what they want from us. We feel that stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan,” he said. Regarding the Saudi King Abdullah’s role in the reconciliation process, Qureshi said Saudi Arabia had historic links with Afghanistan and was an important country that could play a productive role in this regard. He mentioned that during his meetings with his counterparts from Malaysia and Indonesia, it was agreed that Muslim countries could a play a proactive role in Afghanistan along with Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Qureshi said British Foreign Secretary David Miliband had stood by Pakistan at the London Conference. app

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India’s Military Intelligence Chief conducts covert visit to Afghanistan

  • General Loomba held furtive, yet detailed meetings with Afghan, US and NATO officials
  • Delhi plans Afghan military takeover after US/ ISAF pullout
  • Indian Military spy master’s stealth Afghan trip conducted ahead of top US defence officials’ India visit
  • Holbrook kept Pakistanis busy in futile talks as per Pentagon, Langley plan
  • Indian MI boss visited covert Indian troopers’ positions in Afghanistan, met Indian Army instructors of ANA
  • Indian government, army resort to cohesive hostile approach towards Pakistan after Loomba’s Afghan trip
  • Analysts smell some secret US development in Afghanistan through Indian army.

While the US special envoy on Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrook and US Defence Secretary Robert Gates are paying surprise visits to India, in a rather mysterious move, the Chief of India’s Military Intelligence (DGMI), Lt. General R.K Loomba has carried out a high profile, yet comprehensively clandestine visit to Afghanistan and held detailed parlays with the Afghan, US and NATO officials, a development that was never officially or unofficially reported to Pakistan by either the US, the NATO or the Afghan officials, reveal the investigations of The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that this stealthy visit of the Director General of India’s Military Intelligence was carried out last week, just ahead of the visits of US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke to New Delhi

The Daily Mail’s findings disclose that Lt Gen. R.K. Loomba visited the headquarters of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Kabul and also met with officials of Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the military officials, belonging to the US CENTCOM. Lt. General R.K Loomba, who, apart from being accompanied by some senior officials of the Indian MI, was also assisted by 2 senior RAW officials during all the meetings. These findings further reveal that General Loomba, despite holding discussions with the above mentioned Afghan, US and NATO officials, also visited some positions where India has covertly posted around two companies of regular Indian soldiers of Indian army’s Special Services Group in the disguise of members of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) while he is reported to have held a detailed meeting with the instructors of the Indian army, posted officially in Afghanistan to teach English language to the personnel of Afghan National Army while they actually belong to the Military Intelligence and RAW and are actually training the ANA special units about combat strategies against Pakistan army.

Though a highly credible at the army Headquarters in New Delhi told The Daily Mail that the purpose of the visit of General Loomba to Afghanistan was to assess preparations of the Afghan National Army in the wake of the US announcing a surge-and-exit policy through this year, yet the sources refrained to explain that why the visit was so secret and why the MI Chief had to go to Afghanistan instead of holding same discussions with the relevant officials from the US who were constantly visiting New Delhi.

The sources also say that the Indian military officials assess that the US/ NATO pullout would be gradual and Afghan National Army units would be asked to take over charge of areas sector by sector. India is involved in training ANA officers in India but quiet proposals have been floated for the deployment of Indian instructors in Afghanistan for the Afghan army.

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