The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kabul rap for Pervez

New Delhi, July 13 (PTI): With Pak-Afghan tension still brewing after the recent ransacking of the Pakistan embassy in Kabul, Pakistani Opposition parties have warned President Pervez Musharraf not to treat Afghanistan as one of his “cantonments”, according to media reports.

While condemning the Kabul attack, these parties also took Musharraf to task for making statements like “the writ of Afghan President Hamid Karzai did not run beyond Kabul” and told the Pakistani general categorically that he had “no right to interfere” in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

Daily Times quoted Pakistan People’s Party spokesperson senator Farhatullah Babar as saying that the Kabul attacks came soon after such a statement was made by Musharraf during his foreign visit.

“Unfortunately, general Musharraf continues to regard Afghanistan as one of the cantonments . The (Pakistani) military regime has not yet recovered from the shock of the loss of strategic depth syndrome” in Afghanistan, Babar was quoted by the newspaper as saying at a press conference.

The Pak-Afghan border and adjoining areas have witnessed a spate of clashes between tribes, Shias and Sunnis, like last week’s Quetta suicide bombings which claimed 50 lives of Shia tribals, as well as between Pakistani and Afghan forces.

Another embarrassment for the Pakistani government was the recent resignation of Baluchistan interior minister Sanaullah Zehri, who claimed he knew who the real culprits of the Quetta bombings were and had alleged that his home province had been “turned into a police state where the de-facto ruler was the ISI”.

Zehri, who was part of the ruling Baluchistan coalition of fundamentalist parties, told a press conference that he and the provincial government had “no powers” and described the arrests made by central agencies in connection with the Quetta bombings as “an eyewash”.

Separately, Babar warned that Islamabad should have exercised “more restraint” before Musharraf blamed the Kabul regime for the suicide bombings.

“We should have waited for more solid evidence before making the accusation that Quetta bombers are sustained by Kabul”, he said.

In an editorial, the Daily Times also described as “wrong” the views in Pakistan that the “recent tensions with Kabul are a consequence of Pakistan’s mindless cooperation with the US in recent times.

“The mischief emanates from the policies pursued by Islamabad in the past,” the editorial said.

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