By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Afghanistan on Tuesday lodged a formal protest with Pakistan over Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s recent remarks with regards to the release of Taliban prisoners following the signing of US Taliban deal.
In a statement, the Afghan Foreign Ministry asked Islamabad to refrain from making “irresponsible statements” regarding the “internal affairs of Afghanistan”, saying they can lead to creating an environment of distrust and cannot be effective in enhancing the relationship between the two countries.
Pakistani Qureshi had asked President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to refer to the United States for an “explanation” on the prisoner swap clause in the peace deal and urged all stakeholders to show “flexibility” to move forward to intra-Afghan talks in the deal’s aftermath.
“Exchange of prisoners is a two-way process and has happened in the past. When we move from war towards peace, it needs to be done to show a positive intent,” Qureshi said, as cited in a report by Dawn.
The Afghan Foreign Ministry said in its statement, “The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly condemned the recent remarks made by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on the domestic affairs of Afghanistan.”
“The Government of Afghanistan believes that relying on policies of good-neighborliness, Pakistan needs to take practical steps towards enhancing bilateral ties in various areas and refrain from making such irresponsible statements regarding the internal affairs of Afghanistan,” the statement added.