Pakistan General Warns Afghanistan: ‘Our nuclear weapons are not decoration’*

By Zuhal Asghari

20.05.2017 – Kabul

A Pakistan general appeared on Saturday in an interview to threaten Afghanistan with a nuclear response, should it launch a threatened military operation over accusations that Pakistan is funding the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“Our nuclear warheads are not decoration,” he warned.

The governor of the northern Afghanistan region of Balkh, Ahmad Sharif, had on Friday, also in an interview with this newspaper, said that information gleaned from a detained Pakistani spy confirmed that Pakistan was providing a resurgent Taliban with weapons and money.

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“We are concerned that the weapons they are receiving from the Pakistan government are making them a real threat,” he said. “If we don’t reach a political solution we always have other options on our table,” he declared, in an apparent reference to military force.

The Pakistan general, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, denied that Pakistan was funding the Taliban.

The governor of Balkh also warned on Saturday that the north of the country risked becoming “another Syria” if the government did not take action against a resurgent Taliban.

Several political and religious figures said they were extremely concerned about a sharp increase in insecurity in the country’s north, and warned that if the government did not react a “sectarian war” could erupt.

The governor said that he would travel to Pakistan next week to talk to the foreign minister.

*This fictitious article was created as part of a journalism workshop conducted under the Jean Monnet OLIVE teaching programme, for refugees, of the University of Vienna; It is not intended to represent actual facts. Some names that appear in the article are invented; so is the dateline.

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