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Relations with Pakistan bigger challenge than Al-Qaeda, Taliban: Afghan President

Published Jul 24, 2016 05:57pm


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KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said state to state relations with Pakistan are a bigger challenge for Afghanistan than the existence of terror groups such as Al-Qaeda and Taliban.

In an interview with Geo News, the Afghan President alleged that Pakistan provides sanctuaries to terrorists and trains them, making relations with Pakistan, the bigger challenge for his country.

"We cannot understand when Pakistan says it will not allow a group of terrorists to amend its constitution, army act and prepares a National Action Plan (NAP) against them. Simultaneously, Pakistan tolerates another group which attempts to undermine the government and bring horror, death and destruction to Afghanistan," said Ghani.

The Afghan president claimed he can provide addresses of Taliban leaders in Quetta.

Related: Pakistan cannot fight Afghanistan’s war on its own soil: Aziz

'11 attacks on Fazlullah'

Ghani claimed that Afghan forces have bombed the chief of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mullah Fazlullah, eleven times along with attacks on his close aides.

"Can you show me a single operation against the Haqqani network, against Mullah Omar, against Mullah Mansoor, Mansoor traveled on a Pakistani passport out of Karachi, does Fazlullah travel on an Afghan passport out of Kabul," asked Ghani.

The Afghan premier also alleged terrorists wounded in Afghanistan are openly treated in Pakistani hospitals.

"Afghan designated terrorists also hold open meetings in Islamabad."

Ghani, earlier this month issued a similar statement, however, lauded Pakistan's operation in the tribal areas but added Haqqani network and groups threatening Afghanistan were spared in these offensives.

Related: Gen Raheel visits Kabul, seeks handover of Mullah Fazlullah

'Mullah Omar's death news leaked by Taliban'

Ghani rejected allegations that Afghan government had leaked the news of former Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar's death, which resulted in suspension of Pakistan-facilitated dialogue between the Taliban and government in Murree.

"The news of Mullah Omar's death came from the Taliban. We did not leak it, we just gave an official statement. After the news was leaked, we confirmed it from 19 sources, all within Taliban network," said the Afghan president.

Related: Mullah Omar died in Karachi in April 2013: Afghan govt

'Proud of friendship with India'

The Afghan President, while answering a question, stated Afghanistan is proud of its friendship with India, as India shares Afghanistan's democratic aspirations.

"India is a historical friend of Afghanistan, India is building dams in Afghanistan, it is a democratic country and shares our democratic aspirations," said Ghani, adding that his country's foreign policy is no other country's business.

He said freedom to forge relations with other countries is the 'essence of sovereignty and the essence of regional stability'.

Three point agenda

Ghani presented a three point agenda in order to build trust measure with Pakistan.

  • Go after declared terrorist groups, if you don't take action against them, we won't trust you.
  • Act on the quadrilateral process, regarding reconcilable and irreconcilable (groups).
  • Those who reject peace talks should be evacuated from Pakistan.


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Comments (78) Closed

Mr.White Jul 24, 2016 06:00pm

Well said Mr.Ghani.

sak Jul 24, 2016 06:05pm

It time to sent all Afghani refugees back; no more political love for Pushtun brothers. There should be a time limit of 90 days, let India the best friends of Pusthuns help them. It will clean up Karachi and part of Pakistan.

Khilari Jul 24, 2016 06:06pm

Cribbing and complaining won't solve your problem Mr.president. If you have forgotten then let me tell you that Afghanistan was the country that never accepted Pakistan when it came into being and has always played negative against it. Look in the mirror and then complain. Your cribbing comes from the mind set that afghans have developed right from the inception.

Zak Jul 24, 2016 06:12pm

Sadly, Ghani does not represent Afghan people. He represents western interests in Afghanistan.

private Jul 24, 2016 06:16pm

very well said .

Indian-dilse Jul 24, 2016 06:20pm

Very blunt and neatly articulated statement by Mr Ghani.

Jawad Jul 24, 2016 06:20pm

well said Mr Ghani that India has been a friend of Afghanistan historically thats why you have always stabbed us from the back. we gave you so much and in return you gave us narcotics and klashinkovs. please ask India to take your refugees also, your loving brother

asad Jul 24, 2016 06:28pm

Ya blame pakistan for your own failures. If you attacked TTP then why is it still thriving. If Afghanistan state is not sponsoring them then who else ? If you are unable to eradicate TTP then why you expecting us to open an another all out war in Pakistan. Law and order in Pakistan is perhaps not much better than Afghanistan. You have better chances to deal with Taleban than Pakistan with all mighty super powers military and financial supports in your pockets. If it's US or Afghanistan pakistan is always a scapegoat for their own failures. You shouldn't be angry at pakistan in any case because Afghanistan never accepted Pakistan. For Afghanistan pakistan doesnt exist. Always stabbed pakistan in the back until russians ran over you.

fida USA Jul 24, 2016 06:29pm

Time has come for Pakistan to stop tolerating the Afghan leadership. Since 1947 they have shown hostility towards Pakistan and Pakistan in the name of Islam have shown tolerance towards them and helped them in removal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and letting their refuges live in Pakistan adding burden on Pakistan economy. It is about time that Pakistan should change their policy towards Afghanistan. To start with all Afghan refugees should be sent back, border should be closed for trade and Taliban should be actively supported to remove foreign forces and their agents from Afghanistan.

Zealot Jul 24, 2016 06:32pm

The only solution to afghanistan peace is we will deploy our armed forces in afghanistan and will call US to withdraw their troops and then we will bring all the factions on the table for negotiations where in those area where mutual or common interest can be achieved will be put into act.otherwise unfortunately this will continue.

Kittu Jul 24, 2016 06:34pm

Very clear statements and questions. Now need answers to these questions instead of scornful evasive answers.

Salih Jul 24, 2016 06:34pm

Looks who is speaking....

Adnan Jul 24, 2016 06:38pm

How can our government even tolerate such hostile statements from the Afghan government, while silently extending our hospitality to its refugees.

On the other hand The Big Brother just keeps opening its consulates and sends agents disguised as emissaries.

Imran Jul 24, 2016 06:41pm

Blaming Pakistan for your failures will do nothing to promote peace in your country Mr. Ghani. Our country continues to suffer on account of our support for your fellow countrymen who still claim refugee status in Pakistan. You continue to profess your undying love for India but I don't see that country accepting over three million afghans as we have here in Pakistan. We have suffered immensely over the last three decades for our support of your country Mr. Ghani. A simple thank you would have sufficed. Instead this is what we get from you. What a shame.

Kulbushan yadav Jul 24, 2016 06:43pm

great leader Ghani.

SAEED MASOOD Jul 24, 2016 06:45pm

Pakistan should have one point agenda with Afghanistan...Take all the Afghan refugees back immediately...Ashraf Ghani is not a leader of Afghanistan people he is the puppet of foreign powers in Afghanistan...Mr. please count the favours Pakistan has done you in the last 70 years in spite of your disfavour to us in 1947...

pathan Jul 24, 2016 06:47pm

Afghanistan and afghani always hate Pakistan and allow our enemies to use Afghanistan against Pakistan. If you stop this and stop those elements and stop receiving dollars from our enemies then you will see Pakistan and Pakistani loyalty. You give place to our enemies and our enemies doing blast in your country but you afghani blame Pakistan. Because you never accept Pakistan as brother Muslim country. So then go to hell.

Naxalite Jul 24, 2016 06:47pm

A Warn Torn Country and still non-serious blame game, What are you doing with yourself Afghanistan!

Bharat Jha Jul 24, 2016 06:48pm

Seriously ... I too agree with him

IAhmed Jul 24, 2016 06:51pm

Mr Ghani, Let me remind you, This is the Pakistan who Accepted more than 3 Million your Afghan nationals as refugees, This is the same Pakistan who helped you when Russia was attacking you and You know this is the Same India who SUPPORT Russia. You deserve US and India who ruin you by indirectly supporting Taliban.

raj Jul 24, 2016 06:53pm

I saw this interview on Jirga, the president did not mince his words he was straight to the face and it was good.

Zulfiqar Jul 24, 2016 06:56pm

His statements are laughing stocks.

Kamal Pasha Jul 24, 2016 06:57pm

@Zak, No difference between Karzai and Ghani and the future leaders will not be different.

Amaan Jul 24, 2016 07:00pm

No one has ever been clearer than Ghani about this, well said Mr President!

Skeptic Jul 24, 2016 07:03pm

Remember, like Karzai, the erstwhile 'Mayor of Kabul', Mr. Ghani does not speak on his own. He's being fed words by India, while counting on perpetual support from his sponsors - the US Government, who's never tired of asking Pakistan to 'do more'.

To add icing to the Afghan fake-cake, the CEO (ridiculous ceremonial post) of Afghan government, is none other than Abdullah Abdullah -- the former colorful anti-Pakistan commander of the Northern Alliance, and steadfast puppet of India, with hunger for power and visions of magnanimity for Afghanistan - yet cannot even control the grounds outside the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Hence the daily carnage of suicide bombings in the city.

So, I say, hollow threats, with no substance or justification. Not worth taking seriously.

Maqsood Jul 24, 2016 07:11pm

Mr. Ghani be remember that Pakistan give defeat to Soveit union in Afghanistan.

Maqsood Jul 24, 2016 07:12pm

Sent all Afghan refugee to Afghanistan, they would know the importance of Our country.

Shakil Ahmed Jul 24, 2016 07:12pm

Ghani whynot move all your refugees to beloved India. They suppose to be your"true" friends. Get your own house in order instead blaming everyone else. Even mighty US and NATO couldnt help you, so stop relying on others. Keeping Pakistani enemies in safe havens in Afghanistan will never work when killers of Pakistanis are protected by you on behest of India.

Ravi Vancouver Jul 24, 2016 07:17pm

Very strong words in public, it shows frustration and immaturity. Such sensitive issues should be discussed in closed door meetings among Afghanistan and Pakistan officials. His statement proves he is puppet of India indulging in mud slinging on Pakistan, everybody in the world knows actions and policies of destroying all kinds of terrorists in Pakistan. Pakistan is honest and very serious about its policy against terrorists and result is visible on ground for all world to see.Agghanistan should seek advice on dealing with terrorists rather than playing blame game copying Indian rehetoric regarding terrorism.

Lafanga Jul 24, 2016 07:24pm

I guess Indian money is sweeter than having good relations with Pakistan. Answer one question Mr. Ghani. When Pakistan decides to seal the border to prevent anyone illegally crossing it you complain and bring your rag tag army to challenge us. Make up your mind which way you want to go. You can have relations with India BUT dont make it at the expense of relations with Pakistan. It will be your loss.

Ishrat Salim Jul 24, 2016 07:26pm

Mr Ghani and the like if him seen to have forgotten the asylum given to them ub Quetta during the wae with Russia. He also forgets that we took minions of refugees during the war and many millions are still living within our city and towns as Pak citizens and refugees. The govt of Pakistan should cancel their citizenship and refugee status and send them back. Let them go to India.

Mahmood Jul 24, 2016 07:37pm

"The Afghan president claimed he can provide addresses of Taliban leaders in Quetta."

Funny, I can provide the address of the US bank where you you deposit your paycheck, and can even provide the name, address and phone number your employer - and it is not in Afghanistan!

Heck, I can even provide the address of your holiday home in India.

M Junaid Khan Jul 24, 2016 07:40pm

We also have three demands; 1- Take back all the Afghans currently in Pakistan who are mostly responsible for all the crimes and involved in terrorism 2- Seal the border. We don't want you or your containers to pass through Pakistan. Majority of smuggled good come from the same containers. 3- Stop claiming you have taken any action till the time people like Fazlullah are very much alive. All our most wanted are in your country so either accept being the sponsor or stop blaming others when the same happens across the border

Abdulla Hussain Jul 24, 2016 07:41pm

Who cares what he says, he is the weakest president of the world.

Raja farhat Abbas Jul 24, 2016 07:52pm

@Skeptic Hear hear, well said.

Zak Jul 24, 2016 08:14pm

Apply first point to yourselves. Second and third points are not worth it.

Glasnost Jul 24, 2016 08:15pm

Every nation has its own priorities. As an immediate and close neighbor Afghanistan must prefer Pakistan than any other country.There should be rational balance of your relations with India and Pakistan,can't you see the atrocities being carried out in Kashmir, so far you have not condemned . It is better if you directly talk to Pakistan,which you earlier said is your second home.

Jawaid kamal Jul 24, 2016 08:52pm

The real problem is that the world listening to Ghani and do not believe what Pakistan has to say

sbk Jul 24, 2016 08:57pm

Thank you Mr.Ghani, You are not only bold, you are also able to identify who is your foe and who is your friend. Your statement shows your frankness.

Jigar Jul 24, 2016 09:00pm

Excellent statement. Well said.

Mirza Jul 24, 2016 09:14pm

Mr. President you, your government and we may add your people at large needs to change collective mindset. We are in 21st century n cannot worry or care your medival mindset. Fix your country, take your refugees back, develp relations with any country, we are not concern, just makesure your friendship with any other country does not challenge our country stability or threaten our peace.

Awan Jul 24, 2016 09:25pm

Just show the advisor of Imran Khan this statement. Because for the last days Imran Khan is talking about Afghans and KP connection on twitter and even using Racist language in claiming that there is only one ethnicity known as Pukhtoons who are the most respectable and honorable so they should help Afghans ( As if other ethnicites of Pakistan do not care or they are not hospitable).

Hanzala Jul 24, 2016 10:21pm

Afghanistan does not respect the Pakistan, they ( Afghnistani's people) forget everything who done Pakistan for them, but Afghnistan blame Pakistan for making their country weak and unstable.So this kind of statement can not bring good mutual relationship, and this will create further stresses between them

Houlbelat Jul 24, 2016 10:26pm

If Afghanistan is proud of its friendship with India, then we should take the bitter-pill and accept it. There is no use for us being friends with Afghanistan. They are the most dubious Muslims and history is the proof that they were the first nation after our creation who opposed our entry into the United nations.

Shah Jul 24, 2016 10:28pm

Any hits on TTP in Afganistan was not done by Afghans but by US, Mr, President. Send all refugeses back to Afganistan.. Conficate all illegal properties, IC cards and passports of Afghans in Pakistan. No exit or entry without visa...

Usaifi Jul 24, 2016 10:30pm

What was the result of the 11 attacks on Fazlullah? Get serious Mr. President - you are supporting Fazlullah, Baloch insurgents and many anti Pakistani groups in your own country - get your act together before pointing fingers all the time towards Pakistan.

Awais Jul 24, 2016 10:38pm

Mr Ghani, if you have an iota of dignity, why don't you publiclly invite all Afgan refugees in Pakistan to come back to Afghanistan. That would be a very good start.

Sarai Alamgir Jul 24, 2016 11:03pm

Pak should close the border, let the already bankrupted Afghan economy drag down by using Iran as a port, for how long the Iranians and Indians will subsidise the trade with Afghanistan, they cant survive without Pakistan, great that pak is engaged with CPEC and the central asian states can use China and eventually CPEC.

Tufail Khan Jul 24, 2016 11:10pm

Afghanistan on one side, India on the other, Iran on the third. China is our only friendly neighbour, and can help us put Afghanistan in its place. China can put pressure on Ghani through their many mining contracts and stop this Indian agenda for Afghanistan once and for all.

optimistic Jul 24, 2016 11:16pm

As a president of Afghanistan can you take back the Afghans refugees who are living in Pakistan for decades. Under your leadership now Afghanistan is democratic and prosperous country and you should take back and accommodate your all nationals. This will help Pakistan to take actions against those who target both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

m.ali Jul 24, 2016 11:37pm

Mr President let's build a big fence between pakistan & Afghanishtan border , & start strict visa system , so we will not treat terrorist people in our hospital in peshawar . How we know that this afghan is good & this is bad terrorist.Your countrymen are leaving & doing business since 1980 in our country . And you are telling that India is your historic friend. , why not recall all your refugee and send them to India.

Jimmyali Jul 24, 2016 11:48pm

We gave u shelter all these years and now it's difficult for u to develop relationship with Pakistan. Typical AFghan mentality

Zak Jul 25, 2016 12:00am

@Tufail Khan no need we can handle India without problem. Afghanistan is tricky because the government works for foreign interests while the people like Pakistan. Iran and China are our close friends.

kamran Jul 25, 2016 02:39am

we as not agree with your statement... Thanks

MindShare Jul 25, 2016 08:14am

@Ravi Vancouver Great to see a sane voice.

Dr. Ramesh Sharma Jul 25, 2016 08:45am

@Ravi Vancouver I have no problem with your feelings and comments. You have a right to express yourself the way you want. However I have problem with the fact that you are pretending to someone you are not. You have no guts to use your real name and trying pretend as if you are Indian and I double anyone believe in what you say in either country.

Jawad Jul 25, 2016 09:11am

@Ishrat Salim please listen once again, Mr President mentioned all refugees issues!

Neighbour Jul 25, 2016 10:40am

Clearly South Asia is getting divided into two groups. Asian countries opposing each others more than westerns. Only If we were working on bestowed interests, we would have been stronger than EU or USSR.

sahid_kashmiri Jul 25, 2016 12:33pm

@Maqsood Oh....really...? big question.

syed adnan shafqat Jul 25, 2016 02:19pm

@Zak Vow excellent interpretations ZAk !!!

zak Jul 25, 2016 02:50pm

Ghani claimed that Afghan forces have bombed the chief of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mullah Fazlullah, eleven times along with attacks on his close aides.

11 times and he is still alive. Now, is'nt it fishy.

xpakistani Jul 25, 2016 04:35pm

I love this "...India is building dams ....". If India would have wanted, the Soviets would never have entered Afghanistan. Thanks to your Indian buddies you have spent 4 decades in turmoil and Kudos to your intelligence how smart you are in blaming Pakistan. You do not want to share space with your own countrymen and blame Pakistan instead. Pakistan even being culturally closer to India has always treated you with respect and this is what we get.

Jaffar Akbari Jul 25, 2016 05:11pm

@Mr.White . This from citizen of the only free world country that supported Russian occupation of Afghanistan.

Ali Fidayi Jul 25, 2016 05:52pm

Instead of making distractive statements, does Pakistan have answers to the cogent questions raised by Dr. Ghani?

Ayub Jul 25, 2016 07:42pm

You need to establish a balance in the conduct of your relation with India and Pakistan.

Tuluka Kudi Jul 25, 2016 08:52pm

Afghanistan has to choose between brother Pakistan and new friend India. You cannot have the cake and eat it too.

Mumtaz Jul 25, 2016 08:56pm

Why Fazullah still alive and in Afghanistan? Why there are so many Indian consulates in Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan. Mr. President you are talking the language of Indians and you are harboring Indians in Afghanistan against Pakistan. Mr. President you are nothing but a voice of our enemies. We will still feed and pretect your people in Pakistan besides you being unthankful. Furthermore you are a president of a country which is under occupation.

Mumtaz Jul 25, 2016 09:01pm

Mr. President you are a president of a country which is under occupation. You are not a country right now. Fix up yourselves and feed your own refugees before raising any of your dirty Indian fingers on us. Be good under occupation.

anony Jul 25, 2016 10:47pm

The only commentators here supporting this PUPPET man are the indians.

IP Jul 26, 2016 01:49pm

My admiration only grows for Dawn, who facilitates publication of very terse, yet apt views on Pakistan and its policies on foreign affairs.

Dawn is doing a great service to the nation as it is allowing dissemination of views which are contrarian in nature, and general public may not like to hear them, but they nonetheless contain elements of truth and factors of realism.

Good work, Dawn.

Jose Jul 26, 2016 06:30pm

@Mumtaz The reason there are so many consulates is because India is helping develop infrastructure in Afg. There are thousands of workers and they need consulare help often

Kaffir Jul 26, 2016 10:05pm

@Zak if that is the case then Pakistan represents Chinese interests .

sam Jul 26, 2016 10:48pm

@anony And why not?

a Jul 27, 2016 12:07am

Why even have any relations with them ? Israel and Palestine have no relations right ?

MO Jul 27, 2016 06:20am

@Khilari does that mean its tit for tat?

malik humayoun Jul 27, 2016 12:26pm

@asad you well said

Qureshi Jul 27, 2016 02:03pm

Sad to hear the statement from Afghan president and deeply hurt to know their feelings about Pakistan. I think they have a short memory and forgot the past when Pakistan have been fighting for them against the than super power and had lost thousands of our people and offered million of refugees a respectful living in the country. Lets not go so far in the enmity neither create more troubles for the refugees by giving disgraceful and unbearable statements against Pakistan. We should live as a good neighbor and support each other in eradicating the terrorism across the boarder. You are free to pick your friend and no one stopping you to develop relations with the other countries but there are some facts which could not be denied that you have to pass through Pakistan to reach India or will have to take a long flight to reach their, so choice is yours which way you choose !

Sarwat Jul 27, 2016 04:03pm

Indian agents will not be allowed to succeed wherever they are, whoever they are and whatever they are.