India’s Presence in Afghanistan ‘Larger Than it Ought to Be’, Used Against Us, Says Pakistan’s FM

India

New Delhi is one of the biggest donors to Afghanistan, having contributed more than $3 billion in development aid to date and constructed civil, educational and other projects in all the 34 provinces of the insurgency-ravaged country. India says that it backs an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” peace process.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has objected to India’s “presence” in Afghanistan, remarking during an interview with an Afghan news channel that “it is larger than it ought to be”.

“But, at times, we feel their presence is perhaps larger than it ought to be. Because, you know, they don’t share a border with you,” the Pakistani minister added.

Qureshi also speculated that India could “unofficially” be having more consulates in Afghanistan that it claims to be running. “On paper, perhaps four,” he stated.

The Kabul-headquartered news organisation has released several preview clips of the interview, with the complete version to be aired on Saturday evening.

“Does that bother you?” the TOLO journalist probed Qureshi, to which the foreign minister replied, “If they use your soil against us, it bothers me.”


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AP Photo / Anjum Naveed

Pakistan Navy soldiers patrol in Gwadar port, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) west of Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, April 11, 2016

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