ISLAMABAD: Afghan charge d’affaires in Islamabad Sardar Ahmad Shokaib has rejected reports as unfounded that Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry had summoned him over a recent attack.
Section of the Pakistani media reported on Tuesday that the Afghan diplomat was called to the Foreign Ministry and a strong protest was lodged over the use of Afghan soil. The media cited unnamed sources.
“Reports about my summoning are baseless,” the Afghan envoy told the pro-Taliban website azamnews.com.
He said the Pakistani foreign ministry has sent a letter to the embassy and one of the Afghan diplomats received the letter.
“The Pakistani Foreign Ministry had sent a letter to the embassy on Nov. 28. The letter says the attacker in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was an Afghan.”
Shokaib said Pakistani officials have mentioned an Identity Card number of the bomber.
They added that the attack was carried out inside Pakistan.
Pakistanis identified the attacker as Robinullah son of Khanwar Gul, which has surprised many social media users, who say Afghans do not use such names and that the attacker cannot be carried out by an Afghan.
Pakistani sources told the media on Tuesday that a “Representative of the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad was called into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pakistan’s strong condemnation was expressed on the suicide attack perpetrated on security forces convoy in Bannu district on 26 November by an Afghan National.”
Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group had claimed responsibility for the attack, which Pakistani officials say operated from Afghan soil.
The group was based in North Waziristan until the military launched a major operation in the region in 2014. Many militants had crossed into Afghanistan as a result of the operation.
The official sources told the media on Tuesday that the Afghan representative was asked to hold to fully investigate and take action against perpetrators/abettors of the Bannu attack.
Pakistan also pressed the Taliban envoy to take immediate verifiable actions against all terrorist groups and their sanctuaries and apprehend Hafiz Gul Bahadar and hand them over to Pakistan.
The Afghan representative was also asked to prevent the use of Afghan soil for terrorism against Pakistan.
Afghan embassy in India
In another development Taliban deputy FM Sher Abbas Stanekzai said on Wednesday that the Afghan embassy in New Delhi will be reopened within three days.
The ex-Afghan ambassador Farid Mamondzai announced the permanent closure of the embassy last week, citing “pressures from the Indian government and Taliban rulers.”
However, Stanekzai rejected the claim of pressure and said ex-diplomats had applied for immigration to Western countries.
He said the counsel generals in Mumbai and Hyderabad have reopened the embassy.
The Afghan deputy foreign minister told national TV “I have spoken to them. They have reopened the embassy. They were in the embassy today and yesterday.”
Stanekzai said the diplomats told him they would check resources and items in the embassy.
“I am hopeful that the embassy will be reopened for the people and they will carry out routine work,” he said.