KABUL, Oct 18: The attack on Malala Yousufzai, who campaigned for the right of girls to education, showed that Islamabad’s strategy on terrorism was hurting Pakistanis too, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Thursday.

He expressed the hope that the attack would convince Islamabad that “using extremism as a tool against others was not in its own interest”.

Mr Karzai regularly accuses Pakistan of supporting the Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the attack on the 14-year-old girl — a charge that Islamabad denies.

“I hope this very bitter truth... has convinced our brothers and sisters, the officials in Pakistan... that using extremism as a tool against others is not in the interest of Pakistan,” the Afghan president said.

Speaking at a joint press conference with visiting Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Mr Karzai called on Islamabad to join him in an “honest fight against extremism”, which he said was threatening both nations equally.

The Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan “has been the consequence of safe havens on Pakistani soil”, alleged Mr Karzai, describing extremism as a “snake which could turn and bite anyone who tried to use it against others”.

Islamabad was a close ally of the 1996-2001 Taliban regime in Afghanistan, but formally sided with the United States after the 9/11 attacks that precipitated the US-led invasion which brought into power Mr Karzai’s western-backed administration.—AFP

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