Pakistan Rejects Afghan Vice President’s allegations of “air support” to Taliban

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Pakistan on Friday rejected allegations made by Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh regarding Pakistan Air Force (PAF) ‘providing close air support to Taliban’ in certain areas of the country.

FO Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that the Afghan side conveyed to Pakistan its intention of carrying out air operation inside its territory opposite Chaman Sector of Pakistan. Pakistan responded positively to Afghan Government’s right to act in its territory.

Inspite of very close border operations normally not acceded to by internationally accepted norms, standards, procedures, Pakistan took necessary measures within its territory to safeguard our own troops and population, he added.

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said we acknowledge Afghan Government’s right to undertake actions on its sovereign territory.

However, as alleged by the Afghan Vice President, Pakistan Air Force never communicated anything to the Afghan Air Force. Such statements undermine Pakistan’s sincere efforts to play its part in an Afghan owned and Afghan led solution.

Pakistan lately rescued 40 Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) all ranks who fled to Pakistan and returned them to Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIORA) with respect and dignity, with a declared offer to ANDSF to provide all logistical support as requested. We remain committed to peace in Afghanistan and shall continue to endeavour towards this end irrespective of the detractors.

It is, however, important that at this critical juncture, all energies are focused on achieving an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.

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