Abb Takk News

Afghan president says ‘keys to war’ in Pakistan

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has once again accused Pakistan of providing a safe haven for militants in three major cities.

Speaking at a national conference for youth and peace in Kabul on Wednesday, Ghani said the “keys to war are in Islamabad, Quetta, Rawalpindi” in Pakistan.

The government in Kabul along with Washington frequently accuse Islamabad of sheltering senior Taliban commanders and allowing the militant group to operate freely on Pakistan’s side of the porous border with Afghanistan.

In August last year, President Ghani alleged that hospitals in Pakistan were receiving and treating Taliban insurgents who had been injured in fighting with Afghan forces in the southeastern city of Ghazni.

Successive American governments have also criticized Pakistan for links with the Taliban and for harboring former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Abolishing militant hideouts in Pakistan is critical to establishing peace in neighboring Afghanistan, says President Ghani.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ghani said that the “key to peace was in Afghanistan.”

Kabul has stepped up efforts to convince the Taliban to end more than 17 years of militancy amid Washington’s failures on the battleground.

Washington, too, has been holding talks with the Taliban. The US State Department’s special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, has said that he had held “productive” meetings in Abu Dhabi with Afghan and international partners “to promote intra-Afghan dialogue towards ending the conflict.”