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Abolishing militant hideouts in Pakistan is critical for peace in Afghanistan: Ashraf Ghani

22 September, 2017

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NEW YORK: Abolishing militant hideouts in Pakistan is critical to establishing peace in neighbouring Afghanistan, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Thursday before meeting US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Neither Trump nor Ghani mentioned Pakistan when they appeared publicly together after their discussion. But Ghani said Pakistan's role is a key part of the Trump plan announced last month to end America's longest war and eliminate a rising extremist threat in Afghanistan.

"Reduction of safe havens is absolutely necessary," Ghani told National Public Radio in an interview broadcast on Thursday.

The US has threatened to withhold military aid despite Pakistan's repeat assertions that it has acted against Taliban and members of the Haqqani network. "I hope that this time, Pakistan will get the message loud and clear that business as usual cannot continue. It's not in their interest. It's not in anyone's interest," Ghani said.

"Pakistan has never had this type of dialogue with the US and I hope that wisdom and shared national interests will prevail."

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