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Rejecting fresh accusations from Afghan President Hamid Karzai that Islamabad supports Taliban, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday that the Afghan leadership was merely shifting the blame (to Pakistan) for its failures inside Afghanistan.President Karzai told parliament on Sunday certain Pakistani circles were protecting insurgents fighting in Afghanistan.

Pakistani spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, speaking at her weekly press briefing, said that Karzai himself told parliament of the problems inside Afghanistan like corruption and drug trafficking.

The Afghan government dismissed as “ridiculous” on Monday, a Taliban vow to open schools in Afghanistan, saying this was likely a pretext for moving “hate madrassas” into the country from Pakistan. The United Nations also said it did not take seriously the announcement. Education Minister Hanif Atmar scoffed at the claim, telling AFP the Taliban burned down 183 schools and killed 61 teachers and students in the past one and a half years.

Attacks by the insurgents had also closed down nearly 400 schools, most of them in the areas where they said they would open them up, he said in an interview.

Atmar also questioned the claim they would allow girls to go school. “During the years of their power in Afghanistan they did not allow even a single girl to go to public schools. How come their policy has now dramatically changed?” He said the government would have the “legitimate right” to attack Taliban schools that became centres of terrorism. The United Nations mission was also dismissive. “I don’t think we see this as being serious,” spokesman Adrian Edwards said. agencies

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