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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan warned Afghanistan to behave responsibly Thursday following Kabul’s move to sign a strategic pact with Islamabad’s archenemy, India, at a particularly sensitive time in relations between the two countries.
Afghanistan’s interior minister recently accused Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, the ISI, of being involved in last month’s suicide bombing in Kabul that killed former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani — an allegation denied by Pakistan.
“At this defining stage when challenges have multiplied, as have the opportunities, it is our expectation that everyone, especially those in position of authority in Afghanistan, will demonstrate requisite maturity and responsibility,” Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua told reporters.
“This is no time for point-scoring, playing politics or grandstanding,” she said in her weekly news briefing.
Her comments seemed more confrontational than Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s statement Wednesday that Afghanistan and India have the right to maintain bilateral relations as sovereign nations.
His comments were reported by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.
The agreement, which was signed Tuesday, outlined areas of common concern including trade, economic expansion, education, security and politics. It was the first of its kind between Afghanistan and any country.
Afghans rally in Kabul, demand NATO leaves
KABUL — Hundreds of people marched through the streets of the Afghan capital Thursday demanding the immediate withdrawal of international military forces ahead of the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion.
The peaceful demonstration in downtown Kabul was meant to mark the Oct. 7 invasion of Afghanistan 10 years ago, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.
The U.S. invasion came after Taliban leader Mullah Omar refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, purportedly because of his disbelief that the al Qaeda chief was responsible for the attacks and because it went against the Afghan tradition of hospitality and protection of guests.
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