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Pakistan’s 'inept' policies behind Afghans’ hatred: Ex-envoy

Pakistan’s 'inept' policies behind Afghans’ hatred: Ex-envoy

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Nov 23, 2016 - 20:05

ISLAMABAD (Pajhwok): A former Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistaninfo-icon has criticized Islamabad’s recent policies towards Kabulinfo-icon and said "the wrong policies had increased Afghans’ hatred."

Rustam Shah Momand was speaking at a day-long seminar organized by a Canada-based organization Pugwash in Islamabad on how to improve relations between Pakistaninfo-icon and Afghanistan.

The event was attended by politicians from Pakistan and Afghanistan, lawmakers, tribal elders, political analysts and civil societyinfo-icon activists. The former Pakistani envoy in Kabul strongly criticized some recent Pakistani policies on Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan pursued a wrong trade policy with Afghanistan and imposing restrictions on movement between the two countries through Torkham border crossing and making mandatory visas for Afghans was a mistake.

Momand said thousands of Afghans were currently languishing in Pakistani jails and they should be released. He said the Pakistani government should allow ailing Afghans to enter the country without visa. “These are the policies that have increased the hatred of Afghans.”

Momand said Afghanistan was a sovereign nation and had the right to maintain good relations with any country including India and but the relations should not be against Pakistan.

He said it was beyond logic that Afghanistan should not enhance relations with India. He also urged Pakistan to allow Afghanistan and India to do business with each other through its soil.

The move, he said, would help develop positive thinking about Pakistan in Afghanistan and would create jobs for the Pakistanis as well.

He said if Pakistan did not change its policies towards Afghanistan, Kabul would look for alternate options which would harm Pakistan’s interests.

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