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Pentagon Says Iranian, Pakistani Policies Destabilize Afghanistan

The Pentagon’s latest assessment on security in Afghanistan has strongly criticized Pakistan and Iran, saying they are destabilizing regional security.

The U.S. assessment says Pakistan is continuing to use militants as proxy forces in Afghanistan and in India in order to hedge against Islamabad’s loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military.

It says such militant groups "continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan" relations.

Pakistan on November 5 said it takes "serious exception" to the charges, which include "unsubstantiated allegations."

Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry said it conveyed its views to U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson.

The Pentagon says the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps "provides calibrated lethal aid to the Taliban" in a bid to speed the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan.

At the same time, it says Tehran is focused on maintaining friendly relations with Afghanistan’s government and preventing a return to power by the Taliban.

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