Afghanistan should improve security instead of blaming Pakistan: Maleeha Lodhi

NEW YORK: Pakistan’s Ambassador to United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has urged Afghanistan to focus its attention to overcome the deteriorating security situation in the country instead of blaming Pakistan.

“We are ready to help address the shared threat of violent extremists to the region but Afghanistan should desist from externalizing its internal problems,” she said in an interview with Voice of America.

She said the surge in violence in Afghanistan seems to indicate the spreading influence of Islamic State about which Pakistan has long warned. “The rapid slide in the security situation is troubling not only for Afghanistan but for all its neighbours,” she said recalling that Pakistan had condemned the recent terror attack in Kabul.

“The ability of violent groups to infiltrate Kabul’s green zone also suggests insider connections which are even more worrying,” she said referring to the truck attack on May 31 near the presidential palace and diplomatic quarters which killed nearly 100 people.

Ms. Lodhi said the timing of the attacks on Kabul suggests those who carried them out want to sabotage any renewed effort and reconciliation towards a negotiated peace. She said terrorism and violent extremism are a common enemy and need a joint resolve to fight it.

“But whoever may be responsible for the latest spate of brutal attacks, the Afghan government would do better to focus on this growing threat rather than hurl baseless accusations against Pakistan,” Ambassador Lodhi said.

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