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Transit trade: Ghani warns Pakistan of tit-for-tat action

Transit trade: Ghani warns Pakistan of tit-for-tat action

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On
Sep 09, 2016 - 11:26

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Pakistaninfo-icon would not be allowed to transport its trade goods to Central Asia through Afghanistaninfo-icon, President Ashraf Ghani warned on Friday.

He said the tit-for-tat action had been prompted by Pakistan’s consistent refusal to let Afghan entrepreneurs do business with India through the Waga border.

A statement from the Presidential Palace said Ghani issued the warning during a meeting with UK’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Owen Jenkins.

Different issues, including peace efforts, trade cooperation and the repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, came up for discussion at Thursday’s meeting.

The British diplomat hailed a recent meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) in the build-up to the Brussels Conference as a success for Afghanistan.

He reiterated British support for the Kabul-led intra-Afghan reconciliation process, pledging continued efforts for stability in the war-ravaged nation in coordination with regional countries.

The ambassador also referred to the possibility of Islamabad further stepping up the repatriation of Afghan refugees in the days ahead.

Ghani welcomed support from the UK and other countries for the Afghan peace drive. He specially praised Jenkins’ focus on regional efforts in this regard.

Peace with dignity had been a genuine demand of the Afghan people and government, the president said, claiming there was national, regional and global consensus on it.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states had voiced their willingness to support the reconciliation effort, he said, commending the courage of Afghan forces in defeating terrorists.

However, he explained, continued attacks in Afghanistan proved the terrorist enjoyed uninterrupted support from certain quarters.

In a not-so-veiled reference to Pakistan, Ghani said support for terror was a violation of good neighbourliness and all international norms. This act of the neighbour was no longer acceptable to Afghans, he declared.

Ghani hinted at a diplomatic push to counter the use of terrorist groups for destabilising Afghanistan. “I want you to convey my message to Pakistan,” the president told his interlocutor.

“Pakistan has always held out promises of supporting peace in Afghanistan, but taking its vows on face value is hard. And that’s why we want the neighbour to take practical steps,” he continued.  

Pakistan’s intensified harassment of Afghan refugees was aimed to mount pressure on the Afghan government, he alleged, asserting his administration’s preparations for resettlement of the returnees.

Afghanistan was no longer a land-locked country, the president said, adding it had access to multiple transit trade routes.

Pakistan had always blocked its routes for Afghan fruit merchants, inflicting huge losses on them, the president complained. But this year, the Indian prime minister allowed the airlifting of fruits to his country.

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