Af-Pak ties bigger challenge than Al-Qaeda, Taliban: Ghani
In an interview with Pakistan’s Geo News, the president accused Pakistan of providingsafe havens to terrorists and training them. Having good relations with Pakistan was thus a bigger challenge for his country.
He remarked: "We cannot understand when Pakistan says it will not allow a group of terrorists to amend its constitutionand prepares a National Action Plan (NAP). At the same time, it tolerates a group that attempts to undermine the Afghan government."
There was no coordination between the neighbours in battling terrorism, acknowledged the president, hoping many problems would be resolved through bilateral cooperation, he said, calling for close relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“We have been unsuccessful in eliminating threats in the absence of cooperation and good relations between the two countries. Taliban and Al Qaeda have hideouts in Pakistan where they receive financial support and training’ they have special camps,” he said.
The president said Afghan forces were bravely defending their country without combat support from foreign troops, whose mission was confined training and advising.“Our forces are now able to proudly defend their land; they faced hard fighting this year, but responded effectively to the enemy on their own.”
Ghani added Afghan forces had bombed the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mullah Fazlullah’s hideouts 11 times."Can you show me a single operation against the Haqqani network, against Mullah Mansoor, who traveled on a Pakistani passport out of Karachi?"
He spurned claims that the Afghan government had leaked the news of Mullah Omar's death, which resulted in suspension of the Pakistan-facilitated talks between the Taliban and his administration in Murree last year.
In response to a query, he said Afghanistan was proud of its friendship with India, as the two countries shared democratic aspirations."India is a historical friend, building dams in Afghanistan; it is a democratic country and shares our democratic aspirations."
Asked why foreign forces were still in Afghanistan, the president replied the ongoing conflict in the country was a conflict of the region and the world at large. And that was why Afghanistan needed international cooperation, he reasoned.
High casualties among Afghan forces showed they were more active in the conflict than foreign forces. Foreign forces’ casualties could also rise if they actively fought against rebel groups in Afghanistan, he said.
Both countrieshad common enemies, interests and problems, why they were not addressed, Ghani was asked. “Our relations are not good, but both countries have a shared history and their relations could be improved based shared interests,” he believed
“Afghans have a history of rendering sacrifices for the defence of their land. The Afghans gave many sacrifices and won the jihad against the Russian invasion. Islam is a way of our life and we all stood united,” he said.
Those destroying Afghanistan or killing its people received medical treatment in Pakistan and they even held meetings in Islamabad, he maintained.
Pakistan launched an operation in North Waziristan and targeted only those militants who were posing a threat to it, but the Haqqani Network was not harmed, he alleged.“Many terrorists have pushed into our country, creating security concerns for us.”
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