Afghan-Pakistani Tensions Rise
The elected leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province traded jibes on Sunday and Monday.
A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged Pakistanis to learn from past mistakes, a reference
to the ruinous policies of the Taliban. Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Omar Samad is reported by Agence
France Presse as saying, “If some radical groups that are of different stripes still adhere to pro-Taliban,
pro-Osama policies and mindset, then they still can be considered as dangerous, not only for the whole
region but most of all for Pakistan.”
The Pakistan elections held Oct. 10 gave an enormous boost to pro-Taliban factions in that country. The
coalition of religious parties, the Muttahida Majlis-i `Amal or United Action Council, gained 51 seats in the
national parliament and captured the provincial government of the Northwest Frontier Province. It is
also the largest party in the province of Baluchistan. These provinces border Afghanistan.
The MMA has called for an end to the manhunt for al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants in Pakistan (over 400
have been netted), terming them “our Muslim brethren.” Its leaders also want FBI and US military forces
out of Pakistan.
High ranking leaders in Kabul are clearly worried that the pro-Taliban forces in their own Pushtun areas will
be strengthened by the Pakistani election results.
Asked about Karzai’s sentiments, the leader of the Jamaat-i Islami in Pakistan, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, told a
reporter for Jang that the Afghan government is the United States-backed puppet regime and its foreign
ministry is being run by the Americans.