ISLAMABAD - Pakistan government should adopt a pro-active approach on Afghanistan by giving the policy statement that Islamabad has no favourite in the run-off presidential elections in the war-torn country.
Talking to The Nation about the presidential elections in Afghanistan, Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said it was heartening to note that for the first time Pakistan was not blamed by Kabul for its covert role in the elections. He praised Nawaz Sharif government for implementing its policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of neighbouring Afghanistan.
Sherpao said it was high time for government of Pakistan to go beyond than just praising the Afghan nation for holding such a fair and transparent elections and come up with clear policy to work and support whosoever would be elected as president of Afghanistan.
To a question, Sherpao said the turnout of voters in the presidential elections was quite encouraging and by and large the elections were considered as fair and credible by all and sundry, which would go a long way in strengthening the democratic norms in the country.
Recalling the allegations of mass-scale rigging in the 2009 presidential elections in Afghanistan, Sherpao said had those elections been held in transparent fashion, the scenario of Afghanistan would have been quite different today.
He further said that despite serious threats from Taliban the Afghan nation came out in droves to use their right of franchise in favour of their candidates in the presidential elections, which was a great achievement of Afghan people.
When asked about the fallout of the run-off polls on the withdrawal of ISAF and US troops from the war-torn country, Sherpao said the run-off polls between Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai would be held sometime in early June and the results would be clear by July, but he saw little or no impact of the whole exercise on the troops withdrawal plan of United States.
To another question, Sherpao said whosoever would win the run-off elections he would sign bilateral security agreement (BSA) with United States as without signing this agreement the Kabul Government could not sustain its security requirements. He, however, said that certain changes in BSA could be made to address some common concerns of people against this agreement.
To a question, Sherpao said despite severe threats from Taliban to disrupt the electoral process the Afghan nation had come out in big number and used their right of franchise.
He further said that as the ISAF and US would be withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan the militants would try to inflict maximum damage to these forces just to show their might and strength.