Islamabad: Pakistan is well prepared to deal with the spillover effect it may face in case of a civil war in neighbouring Afghanistan, the country’s Army spokesman has said, insisting that Islamabad is only a facilitator of the Afghan peace process, not a guarantor.
Major Gen Babar Iftikhar’s comments came as Taliban officials said the group had taken control of 85 per cent of territory in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan is only a facilitator of the Afghan peace process – not a guarantor,” Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar told ARY News on Saturday night.
“Pakistan has no favourites among the Afghan stakeholders. The Afghans have to choose their leadership,” he said.
He said Pakistan was well aware of the spillover effect it may face in case of a civil war in Afghanistan and measures had been taken to deal with it.
He said the security on the border was tight. More than 90 per cent of the 2,611 kilometre-long border has been fenced.
Pakistan is “very well prepared” and the current border security mechanism was “much better”, he said.
The spokesperson also said that there was fear of a fresh wave of Afghan refugees and the interior ministry has already put together a contingency plan to deal with the situation.
He also took a swipe at the Afghan forces which have been trained by the Americans at the expense of a lot of money but so far failed to put up any resistance against the Taliban.
“In the past 20 years, the US military has trained the Afghan National Army…,” Babar said.
“Trillions of dollars have been spent on them. And as a professional soldier, I believe they should be able to fight this Taliban onslaught as a professional force.”
Talking about India’s role in Afghanistan, he alleged that its investment in the country was aimed at establishing influence to “damage Pakistan’s interests.”
On the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, he said all stakeholders favoured a responsible withdrawal of foreign forces which should have happened after a complete political transition in the country.
US President Joe Biden Thursday announced that America’s nearly 20-year military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31.
The US military exit from Afghanistan before September 11 stems from the February 2020 agreement Washington signed with the Taliban in return for counterterrorism guarantees and pledges the group would negotiate a political settlement to the war with the Afghan government.