No truth to Pak claims of Indian interference in Balochistan, says Afghan FM

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New Delhi, July 27 (ANI): Pakistan's claims of India interfering in Balochistan have been rubbished by visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta.

Spanta is in the Indian capital to meet External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna for discussions on issues of mutual importance to the two countries. He is also expected to undergo a medical check up.

He said there was no truth to Islamabad's claims of India fuelling unrest in southwestern Balochistan province or that New Delhi was backing the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA).

"This is not a new claim by Pakistan but we need to have closer relation against international terrorism in our region. Afghanistan never allowed other countries to take some interference in domestic issue of Pakistan and India has never used Afghan territory against Pakistan. This is only an empty claim," Spanta said.

Spanta was responding to the tabling of a statement in the Pakistan Senate last week by Rehman Malik, the Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Interior Affairs, suggesting that Islamabad has enough proof that India and Afghanistan are involved in the ongoing unrest in Balochistan.

The documents state that New Delhi is providing tactical support and was funding and training terror groups in Pakistan.

Malik also told the house that some of the militants who were arrested from Balochistan had also admitted 'on-camera' to being trained in Afghanistan on India's behalf.

Malik used a used a multimedia system to show images of terrorists arrested from Balochistan and other areas.

He also presented documents to prove the nationality of the Baloch leaders who were killed recently.

"One of the three leaders, Ghulam Muhammad, was wanted by Tehran, while another, Sher Baloch, was an Iranian national," Malik said while tabling the documents.

However, Senators said there was nothing new in the claims. One of the Senators said that he was already aware of all anti-Pakistan conspiracies hatched by India and some other neighboring countries.

Earlier, Malik had told Senate members that India is backing the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) to cause disturbance and ignite insurgency in the region.

He also suggested that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to the mention of Balochistan in the joint statement after his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani confronted him in Sharm-el-Sheikh with a dossier detailing India's covert activities in Balochistan.

Malik also alleged in the Senate that India was responsible for the attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team and the Manawan police academy in Lahore last March.

Malik had then said: "The BLA was raised with funding from the Soviet Union (during the Soviet-Afghan war) and it is now backed by India."

Malik said he had informed Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai of this development, and added that Karzai had agreed to shut down terror camps in Afghanistan.

Malik claimed that Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti has sought both Indian and American support for securing the independence of Balochistan from Pakistan.

Referring to Brahamdagh Bugti's recent interview to a Pakistani TV channel, Malik said the Baloch nationalist leader had even said that he was denying that he was getting help from India in Balochistan".

Malik quoted Bugti as replying: "We are not denying it. We want somebody should support us. I am appealing through your channel to the Indians, Americans and UN to support us. We will welcome any support."

India's Home Minister P. Chidambaram, however, has categorically denied Pakistan's charge of New Delhi's involvement in terrorist attacks in Balochistan.

"We are not involved in Balochistan, we have nothing to do with Pakistan's internal problems in Balochistan. In fact, the Balochistan leader has said that he gets no support from India. Besides, why should we get involved when we have enough problems on our western borders with Pakistan," Chidambaram told the media over the weekend.

"Pakistan must produce evidence before making such allegations," he added.

Indian official sources have also vehemently denied media reports that a dossier had been given by Islamabad to New Delhi which contained "evidence" of Indian involvement in Balochistan. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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