Pakistan's foreign minister has denied assertions in a leaked NATO report that Islamabad was secretly aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan. She labeled the claims 'old wine in an even older bottle.'
Pakistan came out on the offensive on Wednesday following revelations of a leaked NATO report alleging Islamabad was secretly supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
"We have no hidden agenda in Afghanistan," Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told reporters following a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.
She dismissed the NATO report, saying: "These claims have been made many, many times. Pakistan stands behind any initiative that the Afghan government takes for peace.
"We can disregard this as a potentially strategic leak...This is old wine in an even older bottle," Khar added.
The "State of the Taliban" report, compiled from information gleaned from insurgent detainees, claims that Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency was "intimately involved" in militant efforts to destabilize Afghanistan.
But Khar said Pakistan considered "any threat to Afghanistan's independence and sovereignty as a threat to Pakistan's existence."
"Pakistan and Afghanistan need to look forward to a relationship based on trust."
Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul said "there will be no peace in the region if there is no serious regional cooperation."
"Pakistan plays a key role in the Afghan peace process. I hope Ms Rabani's visit is the beginning of a good relationship between our two countries."
Author: Darren Mara (AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Sarah Berning