KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani criticized the Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, for supporting the militants fighting against the people and government of Afghanistan during his speech at the Central and South Asia connectivity conference on Friday in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.
Afghan and Pakistani officials have traded allegations against each other for many years, but this is the first time the Afghan president called out the Pakistani leader for sponsoring terror in a regional conference.
President Ghani told the conference that more than 10,000 militants had entered from Pakistan to Afghanistan in the last month.
Since the beginning of summer and following the announcement of the full withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban have stepped up their offensive against Afghan security forces, taking control of many districts across Afghanistan.
“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 short of the use of force will use 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,” said the Afghan president.
Ashraf Ghani also expressed his disappointment in Pakistan’s failure to get the Taliban to “seriously” participate in the peace negotiations.
Following Ghani’s speech, the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “the country that is going to be most affected by turmoil in Afghanistan is Pakistan,” claiming, “I can assure you that no country has tried harder to get Taliban on the dialogue table than Pakistan.”
In contrast to Imran Khan’s speech, top Pakistani officials have openly announced their support for the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and Pakistan remains one of the major supporters of the group.
Afghan officials have repeatedly disapproved of Islamabad’s involvement with the insurgency group, leading to further conflict in Afghanistan.