WASHINGTON, Aug 3: Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani said on Thursday that US presidential contender Barack Obama’s comments about launching a US military strike in Pakistan undermined crucial efforts to win Pakistanis’ support for the fight against terrorists.
He also criticised leaders in Kabul for allowing terrorists to thrive. “An increasing nostalgia for the Taliban in Afghanistan worries us.”
Pakistan faces increasing disapproval in Washington for doing too little to fight terrorists hiding along its border with Afghanistan.
Owais Ghani was holding talks in Washington with US lawmakers ahead of a weekend meeting of Afghan President Hamid Karzai with his counterpart George W. Bush.
The governor said the Pakistanis watched their soldiers being killed in the fight against militants, and they say “if that is the sort of signal that is coming out of Washington, why bother?”
“Nothing must be said or done which will undermine the vital public support that Pakistan needs, the world needs,” he said.
Mr Ghani said terrorism was flourishing in Afghanistan because of ‘gaps’ in the country’s security efforts.
Huge numbers of Afghan refugees were seeking safety in Balochistan, including Taliban supporters, he said. But he was adamant in his denial of claims by Afghan leaders that the Taliban movement is commanded from Quetta.
“There is no organised Taliban activity in Balochistan. No headquarters, no base camps, no ammunition dumps, no training camps – nothing,” Mr Ghani said.
He blamed Karzai’s political difficulties for the accusations against Pakistan. “I think the Afghan president knows he is headed for failure. He has never been able to work out a political strategy, a political solution for Afghanistan, and it’s always good for politicians to divert attention,” he said.—AP