Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday said terrorists would not last a month if they did not have a sanctuary in Pakistan. Ghani’s remarks were made at the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar, hosted with the aim of aiding Afghanistan’s economic and social transition from its war-torn state. The leader said a key Taliban leader had even acknowledged receiving sanctuary in Pakistan, ANI reported.
Ghani acknowledged India’s help as assistance that came with “no-strings attached”, ANI reported. The Afghan leader stressed on the importance of the India-Iran Chahbahar port development project in facilitating Kabul’s regional connectivity.
Stating that Afghanistan was not interested in a blame game, Ghani asked Pakistan to utilise the $500 million it had pledged for Afghanistan’s development towards curbing extremism. Ghani said the United Nations has listed around 30 terrorist organisations that are attempting to set up a base in Afghanistan.
During his address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the focus should be on an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled process.” He called for a collaborative effort in countering terror networks, and said, “Silence and inaction on terror in Afghanistan and the region will only embolden terrorists and masters and those fund them.”
Modi said the construction of Kabul’s Parliament building was a sign of India’s commitment to Afghanistan’s development. He added that the Herat India-Afghanistan dam would help boost economic activity in the country and proposed an air transport corridor.
Pakistan’s advisor on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, has reportedly met India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on the sidelines of the conference, the English daily reported. On Saturday, Aziz had said Islamabad was willing to negotiate India’s concerns of regional terrorism.