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Pakistan provides sanctuaries to terrorists and trains them: Ashraf Ghani

25 July, 2016

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KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said state to state relations with Pakistan are a bigger challenge for Afghanistan than the existence of terror groups such as Al-Qaeda and Taliban.

In an interview with Geo News, the Afghan President alleged that Pakistan provides sanctuaries to terrorists and trains them, making relations with Pakistan, the bigger challenge for his country.

"We cannot understand when Pakistan says it will not allow a group of terrorists to amend its constitution, army act and prepares a National Action Plan (NAP) against them. Simultaneously, Pakistan tolerates another group which attempts to undermine the government and bring horror, death and destruction to Afghanistan," said Ghani.

The Afghan president claimed he can provide addresses of Taliban leaders in Quetta.

Ghani claimed that Afghan forces have bombed the chief of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mullah Fazlullah, eleven times along with attacks on his close aides.

"Can you show me a single operation against the Haqqani network, against Mullah Omar, against Mullah Mansoor, Mansoor traveled on a Pakistani passport out of Karachi, does Fazlullah travel on an Afghan passport out of Kabul," asked Ghani.

The Afghan premier also alleged terrorists wounded in Afghanistan are openly treated in Pakistani hospitals.

"Afghan designated terrorists also hold open meetings in Islamabad."

Ghani, earlier this month issued a similar statement, however, lauded Pakistan's operation in the tribal areas but added Haqqani network and groups threatening Afghanistan were spared in these offensives.

Ghani rejected allegations that Afghan government had leaked the news of former Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar's death, which resulted in suspension of Pakistan-facilitated dialogue between the Taliban and government in Murree.

"The news of Mullah Omar's death came from the Taliban. We did not leak it, we just gave an official statement. After the news was leaked, we confirmed it from 19 sources, all within Taliban network," said the Afghan president.

The Afghan President, while answering a question, stated Afghanistan is proud of its friendship with India, as India shares Afghanistan's democratic aspirations.

"India is a historical friend of Afghanistan, India is building dams in Afghanistan, it is a democratic country and shares our democratic aspirations," said Ghani, adding that his country's foreign policy is no other country's business.

He said freedom to forge relations with other countries is the 'essence of sovereignty and the essence of regional stability'.

Ghani presented a three point agenda in order to build trust measure with Pakistan.

1. Go after declared terrorist groups, if you don't take action against them, we won't trust you.
2. Act on the quadrilateral process, regarding reconcilable and irreconcilable (groups).
3. Those who reject peace talks should be evacuated from Pakistan.

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