By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Addressing Central and South Asia connectivity conference held here on Friday in Tashkent, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said Pakistan has not severed its relationship with terror groups. President Ghani’s remarks came against the neighboring country, as Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan sat a few feet away on stage at the conference.
In a hard-hitting speech, President Ghani said more than 10,000 ‘jihadi’ fighters have entered Afghanistan in the last month, according to intelligence reports, while the Pakistan government had failed to convince the Taliban to participate “seriously” in the peace talks.
“Contrary to repeated assurances by Prime Minister Khan and his Generals that Pakistan does not find a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in Pakistan’s interest and fell short of use of force and its power and influence to make the Taliban negotiate seriously, networks and organizations supporting the Taliban are openly celebrating the destruction of the assets and capabilities of the Afghan people and State,” President Ghani said at the inaugural ceremony of the conference, as he listed the challenges and threats to regional connectivity. The President said that Afghanistan was ready to counter Taliban and their supporters as long as they realize that political solution is the only way forward.
On Thursday first Vice-President Amrullah Saleh that the Pakistan military had threatened missile launches against the Afghan Air Force if it targeted Taliban militia that has claimed border checkposts at Spin Boldak. In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry denied the claim.
It said Pakistan acknowledged Afghanistan’s sovereignty.
During the conference, Uzbekistan and India also announced the formation of the India-Uzbekistan-Iran-Afghanistan Quadrilateral working group to work on Chabahar during the conference. Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also said that the Termez-Mazar-i-Sharif-Peshawar railroad would be a “key element of the entire architecture of connectivity.”