Terrorists of all stripes active on our soil, says Ghani
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday characterised terrorism as a global phenomenon, calling for coordinated international efforts to banish the scourge.
Addressing the 5th Heart of Asia Conference-Istanbul Process here, Ghani extended his gratitude to the government and the people of Pakistan for hosting the regional event.
“Our children have been killed, our hospitals attacked, and terrorism has now become a regional, national and global phenomenon,” the visiting president said of the fall of Kunduz City to the Taliban.
He noted insurgents of all stripes -- from Russia, Uzbekistan, the Middle Eastand other countries were active in Afghanistan. Ghani underlined the need for an effective regional response to the complex challenge.
Pakistan’s military offensive against militants in the tribal region of Waziristan had further undermined security in Afghanistan, as many terrorists had sneaked inti his country, the president said.
The enemies had tried to divide Afghanistan but they had been foiled, he claimed, accusing regional and international terror groups of fuelling violence in his country.
In a not-so-veiled reference to Pakistani meddling, Ghani alleged: “In the past, there has been the temptation to use non-state actors as instruments of foreign policy. I have had to become a war president...”
Operations against the Pakistan Taliban after last year’s killing of more than 130 schoolchildren in Peshawar had triggered unintended consequences and additional security challenges for Afghanistan, he added.
For his part, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the enemy of Afghanistan was the enemy of Pakistan. “Terrorists like Daesh should strengthen our resolve against terrorism.”
A campaign was ongoing to eliminate terrorism from the region, he said, urging promotion of that the ‘Heart of Asia’ initiative, which had created a forum for sustainable peace in the region and beyond.
At the opening ceremony, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai emphasised on regional cooperation in defeating terrorism.
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