Addressing the United Nations General Assembly on late Tuesday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called on Pakistan to work together to eliminate terrorism and contain extremism for the stability of the region.
“We now have an opportunity for a dialogue with our neighbours on how we can work together earnestly to eliminate terrorism and contain extremism,” Ghani said.
“Now, we call on all of our neighbours, near and far, to join us through the Kabul process in our comprehensive quest for peace and regional stability. I call upon Pakistan to engage with us on a comprehensive state-to-state dialogue on peace, security and regional cooperation leading to prosperity,” he added.
Afghan critics, however, say President Ghani should have labeled Pakistan state sponsor of terrorism in his UNGA speech, as they believe the country continues to harbor terrorists – pouring into Afghanistan.
“Inviting Pakistan for [peace dialogue] was not for the first time, Mr. Ashraf Ghani has called on Pakistan on number of occasions,” said Ahmad Saeedi, a social activist, writer and political expert. “The President did not dare to name Pakistan because Trump did not mention [the country] in his speech,” he added.
Some Afghan parliamentarians believe the countries – financing and supporting terrorist groups should be pressurized to deprive them of support to insurgents.
“The states – sponsoring terrorism should be forced to end supporting insurgents and in order act honestly on the commitments they make,” said MP Fatema Aziz.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry, however, considered Ghani’s speech efficient for bringing regional consensus for security in Afghanistan.
“It is necessary to bring the regional consensus for ensuring security in Afghanistan and to convince the world that Afghanistan’s role could be vital for bringing prosperity in the region,” said Faramarz Tamanna, Director General of the Center for Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
By Shakib Mahmud and Lida Niyazi