India should justify its presence in Afghan: Pak

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Shah Mehmood Quershi
Washington, Oct 4: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has asked India to explain its large scale presence in Afghanistan even though it does not share a border with the war ravaged country.

"They have to justify their interest. They do not share a border with Afghanistan, whereas we do. So the level of engagement has to be commensurate with that," The Los Angeles Times quoted Qureshi, as saying.

In a separate interview to the National Public Radio, Qureshi rejected the notion about top Taliban commanders taking refuge in Quetta, saying Pakistan would gain nothing by allowing the Taliban flourish in Balochistan.

"The question is: Why are you doubting us when we're willing to work with you? Do you think we want Taliban presence in Quetta? What do we gain out of that? We are not helping our case by doing that," The Daily Times quoted Qureshi , as saying.

Supporting the Kerry Lugar Bill, which has received widescale criticism from different Pakistani political parties, Qureshi said the US aid would help alleviate poverty and would thus prevent young people taking to extremism.

"The Taliban and the extremists have been extracting out of poverty and the misery of people in those areas. Obviously, when they're more enlightened and educated, they would not join them," he said.

ANI

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