July 2003 News

Afghanistan to take no sides on Kashmir

16 July 2003
The Daily Times
Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: Afghan foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah said on Tuesday that his country did not wish to take sides in the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir.In a meeting with the editors of Washington Post, the Afghan minister said, 'Of course, we would like to see all these disputes resolved, but it is their problem. We are not falling back into the old scheme, it is counterproductive and not in the interest of anybody. We should not be expected to take sides in Kashmir.'He cited progress in negotiations on security during tripartite meetings between Pakistan, the US and his country, adding that it was 'important for Pakistan to realise that Afghanistan has every intention of improving ties' with Islamabad. He stressed that his country does not wish to be drawn into regional problems with India.He said without connections to the Taliban, Al Qaeda was powerless, adding, 'We would like to see an end to that. I am certain there are elements in the area supporting the Taliban.' He did not think Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan, but quoted a recent statement by President Pervez Musharraf that the Saudi fugitive could be in Pakistan.


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