Amritsar: In a hard hitting attack on Pakistan, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday accused it of launching an “undeclared war” on his country by covertly supporting several terror networks including the Taliban, and noted that there were no hidden deals in India’s growing engagement in the war-ravaged country.
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
“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.
Ghani said Afghanistan witnessed highest levels of violence between October 5 and ?November 20, after the Brussels Conference, demanding dismantling of the state sponsored sanctuaries in Pakistan.
Talking about Amritsar, he said the city used to be a centre of commerce and business which connected India to Central Asia, Russia and beyond.
Ghani visited the Golden temple last evening with Modi.
Referring to Modi’s visit to Afghanistan, he said there were spontaneous celebrations all over Afghanistan following the inauguration of Salma Dam.
He also thanked India for further assistance of USD 1 billion apart from USD 2 billion.
“India’s assistance is transparent and with no strings attached,” Ghani said, adding an air corridor between India and Afghanistan will be soon launched to deepen trade ties.