KABUL: Afghans accused Pakistan of supporting and harboring terrorist groups, asking the neighboring country to end its ‘proxy war’ in Afghanistan.
On Sunday, thousands of Afghans in a social media campaign called on Pakistan to stop the ‘proxy war’ in Afghanistan, using the hashtag #WhatAfghansWant, in response to remarks of Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmod Qureshi Qureshi.
Qureshi recently, in reaction to Afghan officials who accused Pakistan of using the Taliban for its own political goals, said, ‘What Afghans want from Pakistan.’
Afghan officials said Pakistan should shut the sanctuaries of terrorist groups and cut support to them if it was honest about peace in Afghanistan.
On Saturday, Afghans in Washington DC, also in a protest, called on Pakistan to stop fueling violence in Afghanistan and demanded an immediate ceasefire.
This is while Qureshi, a day earlier, said his country was giving all needed efforts to facilitate a peaceful political solution in Afghanistan.
“Peace in Afghanistan is a collective responsibility of all Afghan groups and of key external stakeholders,” Qureshi said in an online meeting with US lawmakers.
Pakistan has a long history of military support for various Afghan factions, dating back to at least the early 1970s.
During the 1980s, Pakistan, which was home to over two million Afghan refugees, was the most important front-line state, providing a safe haven for the mujahidin fighting the Soviet invasion.
In the 1980s, Pakistan also functioned as a stalking horse for the United States, with the CIA granting Pakistan broad discretion in channeling approximately $2-3 billion in covert support to the mujahidin, training over 80,000 of them.
Even after the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, serving and former Pakistani military officers continued to provide training and advisory services in training camps within Afghanistan and eventually to Taliban forces in combat.
Meanwhile, most of the Taliban leadership is based in Pakistan, especially Peshawar and Quetta.