'It has to make a choice': Ghani accuses Pak of aiding Taliban

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2017 20:42 IST

New Delhi [India], October 23 (ANI): Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday accused Pakistan of aiding terrorism, particularly Taliban, which has been the main cause for 40-years of instability and violence in the country.

"Sanctuaries, logistics, training are provided. Pakistan has come to a key juncture and needs to make a choice," Ghani said, while delivering a address at the Vivekanand International Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank.

Emphasising on the growing extremism and terrorism around the world, he said, "Terrorism is manifesting itself in its fifth wave since the launch of anarchism and it's radically more morphing. I think we can have consensus that the level of threat post by terrorism today is much larger that what it was in the year 2001," adding, "but the response to terrorism is country-focussed, not global not regional."

"Instead of a heart, you need to put a piece of stone in your chest," President Ghani said on coping with the terror attacks in Afghanistan.

President Ghani emphasised that his country seeks an action from Pakistan against the Taliban, instead of meddling with them.

"We would like a push factor from Pakistan vis-a-vis Taliban, not a Pakistan-managed peace process with the Taliban," Ghani said.

"Where we haven't had progress, despite trying, unfortunately is with Pakistan. We held hand of peace and dialogue with Pakistan, but unfortunately saw conflict," Ghani said, while also pointing at its growing ties with India.

Obliquely referring to Pakistan, Afghan President said, "Now, no country can shutdown our transit as we have an air corridor to India, so we jump over the space that doesn't cooperate."

President Ghani categorically said if Pakistan was not giving access to Attari, they won't be providing them access to the Central Asia.

"First, we have a free trade and transit agreement and India is our largest export market, second it's about the sovereignty," Ghani said, adding, "the win-win approach is to open up to trade and transit, the lose-lose approach is blockade. But we have a lot more prospects and let's understand, can there be a connection between the Central Asia and Pakistan without Afghanistan?"

President Ghani, who is in New Delhi on a day-long official visit, also met his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind earlier in the day.

He also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and discussed bilateral and regional issues.

The two sides emphasised that the renunciation of violence and terror; closure of cross border safe havens and sanctuaries were essential for any meaningful progress and lasting peace.

The Indian side agreed to extend further assistance depending upon the needs of the Afghan defence and police forces.

Both sides agreed that the recent convergence and alignment of views at regional and international arenas have created opportunities for bringing peace, security and stability in Afghanistan. It was agreed to further deepen the bilateral strategic dialogue and consultations at all levels in order to achieve the shared objectives.

The visit has come at a time when the Afghanistan leadership is focussing on stabilising the war-torn country and brokering peace with the Taliban rebels. (ANI)