Taliban wouldn't last a month without Pakistan support: Ghani

Published: December 5, 2016

AMRITSAR, INDIA: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday that the Taliban insurgency would not survive a month if it lost its sanctuary in neighbouring Pakistan, urging its neighbour to take on militant groups on its soil instead of giving Kabul financial aid.

Ghani’s remarks, made at an international conference in the northern Indian city of Amritsar not far from the border with Pakistan, suggested tensions were rising with Pakistan after Ghani attempted to improve relations with Islamabad when he took office in 2014.

Size of Delhi, Kabul missions fails to lift ties

Pakistan said while violence had increased in Afghanistan , blaming another country for it didn’t help.

Violence has spread around Afghanistan and the Taliban’s ability to conduct coordinated high profile attacks in the capital Kabul has piled pressure on Ghani’s Western-backed government to provide better security to a war weary people.

Last year, Afghanistan suffered the highest number of civilian casualties and military related deaths in the world, Ghani told the Heart of Asia conference aimed at getting regional players together to help stabilise his country.

“This is unacceptable… Some still provide sanctuary for terrorists. As a Taliban figure said recently, if they had no sanctuary in Pakistan, they wouldn’t last a month,” he said.

Analysts say Pakistan has historically backed the Afghan Taliban as a hedge against the influence of arch-rival India, with whom Pakistan has fought three wars, in its backyard.

Pakistan denies this and instead said it is itself a victim of terrorism and that fighters of the Tehreek-e-Taliban, one of the main groups carrying out attacks inside Pakistan, were operating from Afghanistan.

Pak-Afghan relations and reprisals

Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s top foreign policy adviser, said it was true that there had been an upsurge in violence in Afghanistan. “We need to have an objective and holistic view rather to blame one country,” he told the conference.

The number of people displaced by conflict in Afghanistan this year has surpassed half a million people, the United Nations reported last month, the highest number since it began compiling such statistics in 2008.

On top of the Taliban, Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks targeting minority Shias in Afghanistan where sectarian violence has been rare.

Ghani said there were 30 militant groups identified by the UN that were trying to establish a base in Afghanistan.

“I don’t want a blame game, I want clarifications on what is being done to prevent the export of terror,” Ghani said, calling it an undeclared war on Afghanistan.

“We thank Pakistan for their pledge of $500 million assistance for reconstruction of Afghanistan. I hope you use it to fight terrorists and extremists in Pakistan.” Pakistan had made the pledge earlier this year.

Pakistan’s hand in the rise of international jihad

Ghani’s remarks, the strongest in recent months, come as India has simultaneously mounted pressure on Pakistan to end what it too calls cross-border terrorism in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said regional players had to act against not only the militants but their sponsors. “It must be backed by resolute action. Not just against forces of terrorism, but also against those who support, shelter, train and finance them.”

Islamabad has rejected the Indian allegations and said it was ready to hold talks with India on the dispute over Kashmir, but no talks are planned with Aziz while he is in Amritsar, Indian officials said.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • SYED
    Dec 5, 2016 - 11:57AM

    His anger is understandable – but he should not forget that remarks and decisions done in anger are never wise. What if after 10 years Afghanistan start blaming India for the same reasons?Recommend

  • abu noor
    Dec 5, 2016 - 11:57AM

    Mr. President! Who supported you in becoming Afghanistan’s President!!!! Without Pakistani support, you would not have been elected as a councilor in local elections!!!Recommend

  • OSD
    Dec 5, 2016 - 12:03PM

    Did he skip the fact that the Ashraf Ghani government wouldn’t survive a month without America’s support worth billions of dollars? So who are the more legitimate representatives? The Kabul government, which is widely known as the most “fantastically” corrupt regime in the world, or the Taliban, which are fighting against a foreign invader?Recommend

  • PakSal
    Dec 5, 2016 - 12:03PM

    Why are we giving $500m to Afghanistan? What for? Our people need money more than them. Let the Afghan refugees either go back to Afghanistan or go to their “ally” India, what are they doing in Pakistan for decades? Why is Afghanistan asking Pakistan not to repatriate them? I mean why? Go to India, Modi will take care of them. Pak need not go to any forum regional forum … what’s the point? These are useless forums anyways, wastes money and nothing else.Recommend

  • Basit
    Dec 5, 2016 - 12:17PM

    Is this why 99% of Taliban is based inside Afghanistan? They have sanctuaries all over Afghanistan.Recommend

  • abreez
    Dec 5, 2016 - 12:18PM

    World wouldn’t last a second without 90% of Afghan share of white gold.Recommend

  • Pk_Paris
    Dec 5, 2016 - 12:34PM

    That was quite straight & blunt from Mr Ghani. All these comments about Pakistan’s support to terrorism are now being said openly in multi-national forum. Whereas all Pakistani response denying these allegations is either from Radio Pakistan or in some TV channel interview.
    Time for Pakistan to introspect rather than usual denial or playing victim card.Recommend

  • ABC
    Dec 5, 2016 - 1:08PM

    Ghani actually wanted to say “Afghanistan wouldn’t last a month without Pakistan Support”Recommend

  • Amir
    Dec 5, 2016 - 1:53PM

    He is ruler of Kabul only, with no writ in other parts of Afghanistan. Existence is only due to the presence of multi national forces, rest ruled by warlords. Pakistan and india are now playing the same great game that has been played for centuries inside Afghanistan, not realizing all players have lost miserably. If Afghans are not fighting invaders, they had been fighting amongst themselves. That is the tragedy Afghanistan is facing. Instead of facing reality, blame is the easiest way out. negotiate with taliban earnestly.

    For pakistan we had housed refugees, and now it is time to send them back. Pakistan also needs to open it’s border for trade to pass to a land lock country. The game now needs to be stopped by all parties.Recommend

  • rex minor
    Dec 5, 2016 - 1:55PM

    And without the outside support the Kabul self styled mayor will not last a single day
    Let us
    Rex MinorRecommend

  • xof
    Dec 5, 2016 - 1:57PM

    built border control, get passports, create border check posts, use the international aid … thats how you will end your problems, instead of crying in cheesy conferences. Sacrificew something to get somewhere as we have did in these last 3-4 years. MAN UP you both.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Dec 5, 2016 - 1:57PM

    How convenient. Put the blame on others… In this case the country that has hosted Afghan refugees for decades. But at the moment, India’s money is able to talk louder than anything else. Hope our Afghani neighbors can see how India is using them.Recommend

  • Hehe
    Dec 5, 2016 - 2:03PM

    Pakistan has been an equal victim of this terror. The perpetrators from Peshawar attack and other attacks in the country were carried out by Afghanistan. What does Ghani make of that? Our good for jogging government can’t even defend the country in international forums???Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Dec 5, 2016 - 2:20PM

    And he’d be the first to complain when matter of building a non-porous border between Afg and Pak is mentioned. You can’t have your cake and eat it Mr. President. You must stop creating conditions for Afghan Talibans to take refuge in Pak.Recommend

  • Fate
    Dec 5, 2016 - 3:43PM

    Is it that simple? I have my doubts. How is IS surviving without Pakistan’s help?Recommend

  • Menon
    Dec 5, 2016 - 4:45PM

    Very true.

    Finally, people are beginning to call a “spade a spade”!Recommend

  • curious2
    Dec 5, 2016 - 6:20PM

    Whether they would only last a day is debatable – what’s not debatable is Pakistan providing sanctuary/assistance. Recommend

  • Khan
    Dec 5, 2016 - 10:07PM

    you, also, would not last a month if you did not get foreign aid.Recommend

  • George
    Dec 5, 2016 - 10:30PM

    Look who is talking. For how many years you lived in Pakistan, and on what passport did you travel to the U.S. Also think what group you were associated. The roosters are coming home, so sit back and relax.Recommend

  • JKhan
    Dec 6, 2016 - 7:10AM

    And Ghani you won’t last a day without Indian support.Recommend

  • Ravian
    Dec 6, 2016 - 11:12AM

    …. And Afghan government won’t last a day without US support……………Recommend

  • Alter Ego
    Dec 6, 2016 - 12:31PM

    Of course its not.
    Pakistan does not provide safe haven to criminals unlike modi and ghani.Recommend

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