Pakistan 'pushing a major series of global terrorist networks' onto Afghanistan: Ghani

Published: March 21, 2015


KABUL: Afghanistan faces a difficult spring in terms of security as the so-called “fighting season” with the Taliban begins, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Saturday, adding that Pakistan was “pushing a major series of global terrorist networks onto” war ravaged country.

“The winter has been extraordinarily difficult. And barring major breakthroughs in the region, spring will be difficult,” he told a press briefing at the presidential palace, several hours before leaving on a four-day official visit to the United States.

Ghani, who came to power in September, said he had not asked for any specific aid from the United States nor any changes to planned troop withdrawals.

“What I’ll be explaining to the Congress of the United States is what we’re doing. What we’re underlining is both the nature of the threat and what we’re doing with the existing resources and capabilities,” he said.

Ghani will be travelling to the US along with Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdullah Abdullah. They are due to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House on March 24.

“A partnership is about appreciation of conditions…. You cannot just simply request assistance,” the president added.

The United States was due to reduce its 10,000 troops to 5,500 by December, but that number is expected to be reassessed.

Pakistan ‘pushing’ terrorists onto Afghanistan

According to Ghani, Pakistan’s military operations in Waziristan and Khyber “are pushing a major series of global terrorist networks onto us”.

But he stressed he considers neighbouring Pakistan a key partner in the peace process, saying success depends on “an enduring peace” with Islamabad.

Creating conditions for talks with the Taliban

The Afghan government has been “actively engaging” with its neighbours in the region over the past few weeks “from Azerbaijan to India” to create conditions for discussions with the Taliban, Ghani said.

“We have not had face-to-face discussions, we’re preparing the conditions for those,” he added.

Diplomatic efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table have gained pace recently, even as security forces have launched offensives against the insurgent group without NATO assistance for the first time since 2002.

For their part, the Taliban have yet to officially acknowledge that talks are being held. They continue to impose their own tough conditions, including the absence of any foreign troops on Afghan soil, as a precondition to negotiations.

IS ‘swallows its competitors’

Ghani and his Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah will also have an opportunity to discuss the emergence of the Islamic State group (IS) on their US visit.

Ghani said IS “swallows its competitors”.

“If you compare al Qaeda and Daesh, it’s like going from Windows 1 to Windows 5,” he said, referring to IS by an alternative name.

“These groups do not fit with the classic insurgency.”

The Middle East-based group has not formally confirmed it is operating out of Afghanistan, though Pakistani and Afghan commanders have pledged their allegiance to the outfit in recent months.

In the United States, Ghani said he expects to field questions about the country’s finances.

“The question we will be asked is about fiscal sustainability. Will we be able to afford our own forces?” the president said.

“This is precisely why we’re examining the system of expenditure — the efficiency, the effectiveness, the transparency from top to bottom.”

The trip is also seen as an important step toward mending relations between the United States and Afghanistan, which deteriorated towards the end of former president Hamid Karzai’s ten-year rule.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Pari
    Mar 21, 2015 - 11:09PM

    Both the countries should work in tandem and crush these terrorists like you crush things in a giant crushing piliar. We attack them from our side and they attack them on their side. Don’t let them settle down or run away.Recommend

  • Vakil
    Mar 21, 2015 - 11:19PM

    Going by the statement of Mr. Ghani here, it looks like the all the recent bonhomie between the two countries (Af-Pak) is all but over…. in other words, we are back to the same-ole, same-ole ‘realities’ (that have always been there)… Ho hum…!!Recommend

  • samir
    Mar 22, 2015 - 12:24AM

    What the writer fails to mention is that the push is a result of the pakistani operation being carried out near the border. It is not a hostile statement but an accurate reflection of on ground situation. This is similar to what happened when militants crossedover to pakistan during US invasion. Afgan forces will now have to play their part; which im hopeful under GhaniRecommend

  • Joe
    Mar 22, 2015 - 12:36AM

    Wow I see serious improvements in relations.Recommend

  • Salman - SK
    Mar 22, 2015 - 12:59AM

    Oh, where is Boutros Boutros Ghali, when we really need him???? Talks with Taliban??….. another pipe dream of Afghani government. These governments should have thought about what they were doing when they were creating the “Mujahideen” and “Taliban” forces at the behest of their mentors in USA and Saudi Arabia. Recommend

  • salman
    Mar 22, 2015 - 1:09AM

    Yes we are kicking them out from Pakistan and pushing them into Afghanistan where they used to reside with their fellow comrades and now it is the duty of Afghanistan to take them out as well. You have the US army to that job and isn’t that you wanted from Pakistan as well ? Also this statement clearly suggest that Pakistan militarily operations have been very successful. Militants infrastructure have been completely destroyed inside Pakistan. Frequency of bombings in FATA area have been clearly reduced. Recommend

  • Unknown
    Mar 22, 2015 - 1:14AM

    another acknowledgement of successful militarily operation in Waziristan. Afghanistan has to react sharply as well and take out these terrorists else if they regrouped there than they will create havoc inside Afghanistan. Pak Army has already flushed out or killed 80% of the militants now just Khyber agency left. Recommend

  • Proud Pakistani
    Mar 22, 2015 - 9:52AM

    Mr . President is rightly saying.As a trible of FATA I my self know that these massive operations are pushing terrorists onto Afghanistan rather than eliminating them wholly.But you cannot blame Pakistan for it because it is humanly impossible to man and check all of those myriads of inaccessible/densely forested mountain passes and crevasses under harsh weather conditions.The escape of Osama and his men from Tora Bora (adjacent to Tirah valley of khyber) into Pakistan should be enough to prove my point as the most technologically advanced nation had failed to net him in that part of Durand Line.Recommend

  • liaqqat ali
    Mar 22, 2015 - 10:14AM

    @Vakil: and endorsers. read next comment by Samir which ios true refelection and actually it is mentioned in the article itself . Go beyond the heqadline. Recommend

  • Hamood
    Mar 22, 2015 - 11:05AM

    This is not a hostile statement. Ghani is a decent man and is just stating the reality of the movement of terrorists from FATA into Afghanistan. To avoid certain death, thousands of terrorists crossed into Afghanistan. The ones who decided to fight Pak Army are being killed by the thousands. The ideal situation would have been for Afghanistan to take care of all the ones fleeing the Pak Army assaults but I am not sure about the capabilities of the Afghan army. I think Pak army should provide assistance across the border as well to kill all these terrorists so that we can have peace in the region.Recommend

  • N.Sid
    Mar 22, 2015 - 11:16AM

    According to Ghani, Pakistan’s military operations in Waziristan and Khyber “are pushing a major series of global terrorist networks onto us”.
    Wrong connotations of the headline…Pakistan deliberately is not pushing or supporting the terrorists, but the operation has them fled from Pakistan into Afghanistan. Both countries need to work together as the piece in both countries is interlinked and interdependent. Hoep sanity prevails. Recommend

  • Haider
    Mar 22, 2015 - 12:02PM

    Afghanistan should play its part.As operation going on.Militants will try to escape where they find safe.Afghanistan should improve security at borders and crush them if u find them.People will run to both sides.Don’t let them escape this is to both countriesRecommend

  • Milind
    Mar 22, 2015 - 1:15PM

    So now Ghani will now be blamed as an Indian pawn for speaking the truth… Similar to Karzai…Recommend

  • singh
    Mar 22, 2015 - 2:13PM

    Its a never ending story.Recommend

  • SEAsian
    Mar 22, 2015 - 7:58PM

    Interesting turn of events that I am not too unhappy about. Ghani may yet be the man.Recommend

  • Sam
    Mar 22, 2015 - 7:59PM

    Dealing with Pakistan is no piece of cake. Reality has finally sunk in. It took some time but Ghani did see the light of day. Recommend

  • Jalal
    Mar 22, 2015 - 10:47PM

    So instead of killing terrorist Pakistanis are sending them to Afghanistan. Yeah its hard to kill one’s own children.Recommend

  • Mar 23, 2015 - 1:08AM

    Ghani is not the problem. Not at all. Modi is the problem.
    He is aiding and abetting the Pak extremists/insurgents.Recommend

  • Aisha
    Mar 23, 2015 - 2:14AM

    @liaqqat ali:
    Do they have brain to think beyond ? :) i doubt Recommend

  • Fahad
    Mar 23, 2015 - 9:01AM

    AFP has slightly miss represented what Ghani said in his statement. They could have explained it as, there is a militant spillover in Afghanistan due to the ongoing military operation in Waziristan area. and what the other side needs to do is reinforce the border to stop them from going deep in Afghanistan. It is same as saying United States pushed a major series of global terrorist networks on to Pakistan back in early 2000’s.Recommend

  • Milind
    Mar 23, 2015 - 1:17PM

    @Hobi Haripur wala – “Not at all. Modi is the problem.
    He is aiding and abetting the Pak extremists/insurgents.”

    They don’t need any help from us, when 180M suckers have bought into and sympathized with their ideology.Recommend

  • MJ
    Mar 23, 2015 - 8:27PM

    Concentrate operations on the sources that brainwash, train, finance and arm little boys who become terrorists when they grow up and you will defeat them. It is a battle of ideas not weapons that can eliminate terrorism. Recommend

  • Mar 23, 2015 - 8:28PM

    Trust a hindu to swoop down to gutter level and use foul
    language, approved by ET.moderators. [It is a hinu paper.]
    By the way you represent hindustanis. All 1.8 billion of them.Recommend

  • Schumaila
    Mar 24, 2015 - 2:45AM

    Poor Indians lack the sense to comprehend what the author is actually communicating, they must have jumped with joy after reading the headline and directly proceeded to commentRecommend

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