KABUL - Afghanistan said on Sunday it was pulling out of security talks in Islamabad in anger at cross-border attacks blamed on the Pakistan army, which it said were designed to disrupt the second round of its presidential election.
In a meeting chaired by President Hamid Karzai, the National Security Council “condemned” increasing numbers of “rocket attacks (by the) Pakistani military against the country”, a statement from the presidential palace said.
It said the attacks were “aimed at disrupting the second round of presidential elections”, due to be held on June 14.
A spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence, Mohammad Zahir Azimi, said “Pakistani helicopters” had crossed the border and flown over the eastern province of Kunar.
Local leaders claimed that rockets fired from Pakistani territory had left six dead and around 40 injured in recent days. There was no independent verification of the claims. The National Security Council said it would “raise serious concerns” with Pakistan through the foreign ministry, according to the statement.
In protest, Afghan security officials will not participate in a regional security summit due to take place in Islamabad on June 4.
The council also took issue with the lack of reaction from the United States, describing the silence as “a violation of (the) long-term strategic pact signed between the two countries”.
Pakistan has long been accused of interference in Afghanistan, seeking to manipulate events in its restive neighbour as part of efforts to broaden its influence in its wider competition with long-time rival India.
In the 1990s, Islamabad helped nurture the rise to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan and was one of the only countries to recognise the regime, which ruled from 1996 to 2001.