Peace initiatives with Pakistan remain unsuccessful, says Afghan president
KARACHI: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said the peace initiatives taken by Afghanistan with Pakistan are not successful as Pakistan differentiates between good and bad terrorists "in practice".
"Our regional initiatives with neighbours are beginning to yield significant cooperative dividends. However, the exception is with Pakistan," the Afghan president said during his speech on second day of Nato summit.
He added that despite clear commitments to the quadrilateral peace process, "Pakistan's dangerous distinction between good and bad terrorists is being maintained in practice."
"The key problem among our neighbouring states is an absence of agreed rules of the game, thus we seek regional and global support in creating those rules, which will bind us to collective security and harmony," said Ghani.
The Afghan president maintained that the world leaders should understand that Afghanistan is facing a multi-dimensional conflict and is fighting all sorts of groups "ranging from Al-Qaeda and Daesh to terrorist groups with Central Asian, Chinese, and Russian origins, to Pakistani groups classified as terrorists by Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban groups".
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Citing the 2015 Makka declaration against terrorism as an example, Ghani claimed that Afghanistan's dialogue within the Arab-Muslim community was also productive.
He was of the view that the recent terrorist attack near the Mosque of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in Medina has outraged the Muslim community and "should result in a consensus against the tiny minority that is attempting to hijack our civilization".
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Ghani thanked all the Nato countries for "fighting shoulder to shoulder" with Afghanistan's own forces and claimed that the organisation has maintained its relevance and effectiveness in the paradigm shift presented by post-9/11 Afghanistan.
"The organization’s fulfillment of both its combat and support missions in Afghanistan is a corroboration of NATO’s continued global relevance, adaptability and effectiveness. Its transformative legacy, however, is building our 352,000 strong security and defense forces," said Ghani.
He also thanked United States (US) President Obama for expanding the authorities of the Resolute Support Mission and his latest decision to maintain American troops throughout his term.
Related: Obama expands US military commitment to Afghanistan
FO disappointed over Ghani's remarks
Foreign Office (FO) strongly reacted to the Afghan president's speech at the Nato summit and said that Ashraf Ghani's remarks were disappointing and a continuation of Afghan government's policy of blaming Pakistan for its failures.
"Pakistan is disappointed with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's remarks at the Nato Summit. It is unfortunate that Afghan leaders continue to make hostile statements against Pakistan and blame Pakistan for all failures in Afghanistan", FO spokesman Nafees Zakaria said.
The spokesman added that Pakistan will continue to make every effort to help bring peace in Afghanistan as peace in the neighbouring country is in Pakistan's interest.
Zakaria maintained that Pakistan also expects cooperation from Afghan government in its fight against terrorism through effective border management and denying sanctuaries to anti-Pakistan terrorists from Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
"The need of the hour is close cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan rather than constant blame game by the Afghan government based on assumptions," the FO spokesman added.