Afghanistan Uses News About Bin Laden to Intensify Its Criticism of Pakistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan government escalated its criticism of Pakistan on Wednesday, publicly questioning for the first time how the Pakistanis could ensure the security of their nuclear arms if they did not even know that Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, had been hiding in a compound in a Pakistani military town less than an hour from their capital.

In comments at a weekly news conference, Gen. Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, echoed points made this week by others in the country, including President Hamid Karzai, but in starker terms. The general specifically criticized Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, which has claimed that it was unaware that Bin Laden had been living for years in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, where American commandos killed him in a raid early Monday.

“If the Pakistani intelligence agency does not know about a home located 10 meters or 100 meters away from its national military academy, where for the last six years the biggest terrorist is living, how can this country take care of its strategic weapons?” General Azimi said.

“How could they be satisfied that their strategic weapons are not in danger?” he asked.

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Categories: Afghanistan

2 replies

  1. Just to complete the picture: When I was in Afghanistan from 1969 to 1972 Afghanistan criticized Pakistan all the time as well. The Afghans did not forget that when the British invaded Afghanistan during the days of the Empire the foot soldiers were mostly British Indian Muslims = therefore in today’s language ‘Pakistanis’. Then there was the question of ‘Pakhtoonistan’, which was never clearly defined. On both sides there should be a great effort to stress the common links rather than the differences. I suppose both sides are afraid of stressing the common links, as otherwise the idea of ‘Pakhtoonistan’ would emerge again … Tough tasks…

  2. Afghanistan and Pakistan have an historical and very complicated relationship. One that is made no less complicated by the fact that the current Karzai government has strong ties with India, a relationship Pakistan views as a form of hostility brewing in its very backyard. That being said, one cannot blame Afghanistan for condemning a country, its neighbor no less, for harboring and strengthening those elements that have all but broken the backbone of the Afghan nation and its people. Of course, now Pakistan is paying the price. Over 30,000 Pakistani lives have been lost in the ‘war against terror.’ 6,000 of these lives were soldiers. The remaining loss was civilian. Pakistan clearly has a stake in winning this war. But, it would do well for Afghanistan to address the issue as a regional one. Because if U.S. guns suddenly end up on Pakistani soil, Pakistani ruin and rage aside, all the extremists are going to be headed one way: Afghanistan.

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