Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday that the Taliban insurgency would not survive a month if it lost its sanctuary in neighbouring Pakistan, urging its neighbour to take on terrorist groups on its soil instead of giving Kabul financial aid.
In his address at the 6th annual conference of Heart of Asia, Ghani, who severely criticised Islamabad, said an Asian or international mechanism must be put in place, without "playing games”, to find out who was benefiting from terror, extremism and other illicit activities. He said time has come for concrete action against terror infrastructure and those support it, and quoted a top Taliban commander saying unless terror sanctuaries were allowed in Pakistan, the outfit will not last even a month. He said despite Afghanistan’s bilateral and multilateral ties with Pakistan, the "undeclared war” that started in winter of 2014, has intensified after the recent Brussels conference on Afghanistan’s transition.
Slamming Pakistan’s habit of denying cross border terror attacks, the Afghan President called for setting up of international mechanism to verify reality of such attacks which have increased in the last few months. He also sought setting up of a global fund to contain terrorism. "There should be an Asian or international regime, whatever is acceptable to Pakistan, should be put in place to verify frontier activities and terrorist operations. We do not want blame game, we want verification,” he said, without mincing words.
"We need to set up a fund to combat extremism,” Ghani said. Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz was among representatives of 30 countries who attended the conference inaugurated jointly by Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Hailing India’s role in Afghanistan’s transition, he said "India’s assistance is transparent and with no strings attached”, adding "there are no hidden deals between India and Afghanistan.”
"I don't want a blame game, I want clarifications on what is being done to prevent the export of terror," Ghani said, calling it an undeclared war on Afghanistan.
"We thank Pakistan for their pledges of USD 500 million for reconstruction of Afghanistan. This fund Mr Aziz could very well be used to contain extremists because without peace any amount of assistance will not meet the needs of our people,” he said. Asserting that no amount of money can assist Afghanistan if there is support to terrorists by Pakistan, he said military operations in Pakistan have brought about selective displacement of terrorists.