He also said the consensus among international observers is that the Taliban has not taken any steps to sever its ties to terrorist organizations.
“Contrary to the repeated assurances by [Pakistan’s] Prime Minister [Imran] Khan, and his generals, that Pakistan does not find a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan [to be] in Pakistan’s interest, short of use of force will use its power to influence to make the Taliban negotiate seriously, networks and organizations are openly celebrating the destruction of the assets and capabilities of the Afghan people and state.”
Responding to the charges, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “disappointed” by the allegation that Pakistan had a “negative role” in the conflict.
“President Ghani, the country that is going to be most affected by turmoil in Afghanistan is Pakistan. Pakistan suffered 70,000 casualties in the last 15 years. The last thing Pakistan wants is more conflict,” Khan said.
“I can assure you that no country has tried harder to get Taliban on the dialogue table than Pakistan.”
“We have taken all action short of taking military action, and every effort to bring them to the dialogue table and have a peaceful settlement there, and to blame Pakistan for what is going on in Afghanistan is extremely unfair,” he added.
The exchange of words came as another spat broke out between Kabul and Islamabad over allegations by Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh that the Pakistan military had warned Afghan forces against dislodging Taliban from Spin Boldak area.
In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry denied the claim, saying it acknowledged Afghanistan’s sovereignty.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the conference that America’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan has destabilized the region and worsened the terrorist threat.
“Regrettably, we have witnessed a quick degradation of the situation in Afghanistan in the last few days,” Lavrov told the gathering, pointing to the “hasty withdrawal of the U.S. and NATO contingents.”
“The crisis in Afghanistan has led to the exacerbation of the terrorist threat and the problem of illegal drug trafficking that has reached an unprecedented scale,” he said.
“There are real risks of instability spilling into neighboring countries.”
Lavrov also dashed any hopes the U.S. may have of using bases in Central Asia to monitor terror threats in Afghanistan. While Pakistan and Uzbekistan have already given Washington a flat no, Lavrov said there are no Central Asian states ready to take that risk.
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Associated Press, U.S. peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said he would press for at least a temporary cease-fire during next week’s Eid al-Adha.
Khalilzad, who expressed surprise at the Taliban’s rapid sweep through swaths of Afghanistan, said a long-term “comprehensive” cease-fire may have to wait for the two sides to reach a political deal. Still, he said he will press for a reduction in violence.