Pakistan expresses concerns over attempts being made to implicate it in Kabul hotel attack

Pakistan expresses concerns over attempts being made to implicate it in Kabul hotel attack

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Monday expressed concerns over attempts being made to implicate Pakistan in the attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul on March 20 that left nine persons including two children and four foreigners killed.

On Sunday, the Afghanistan’s National Security Council (NSC) said that it was informed by the country’s main intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security, that a foreign intelligence service was behind the attack on the Kabul hotel.

The NSC also said that it was told that a Pakistani diplomat was spotted filming inside the Serena hotel ahead of the attack.

“Another information of the NDS (National Directorate of Security) shows that earlier when one Pakistani diplomat entered the Kabul-Serena hotel to use its sport club, he filmed the corridors of the hotel which the hotel staff raised objections to,” the council added.

“It is highly disturbing that attempts are being made to implicate Pakistan in this terrorist incident,” the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in a statement on Monday.

The FO spokesperson said that we reject the insinuation, adding that the tendency to immediately blame Pakistan is unhelpful and should be discarded.

The spokesperson further said that we are also surprised to see the Afghan interior ministry expressing concern over the recently-initiated dialogue process with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), even though the Afghan leadership, at the highest level, has been expressing its support for this initiative.

“As for the Afghan elections, Pakistan has repeatedly underlined its support for efforts to ensure a free and fair electoral process,” she said.

“Pakistan remains committed to building a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said. However, she said, it requires a conducive environment for constructive engagement.