Ashraf Ghani’s statement meant to please India: Sartaj Aziz

Islamabad: Pakistan’s top diplomat Sartaj Aziz on Monday lashed out at Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s for calling Pakistan a terror sanctuary in his remarks at the Heart of Asia conference.

Aziz, who returned home late Sunday after attending the conference in Amritsar, said that since the conference was about Afghanistan “that is why we wished that the ongoing relationships between Pakistan and India should not affect the peace process within Afghanistan”.

However, Pakistan’s de facto foreign policy chief felt Ghani’s statement was incomprehensible and condemnable, and contended that it was meant to “please India”. He also revealed that in his meeting with Ghani, he assured the Afghan President of Pakistan’s wish for peace in Afghanistan and proper security mechanisms along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Aziz said that Pakistan was always being blamed whenever there was an attack inside India and Afghanistan despite the fact that it was striving to promote peace in the region.

“If I had not been to India, it certainly would have a backlash as India would have got another opportunity of spreading propaganda,” he said.

Blaming the Indian media, Aziz said it was highlighting the issue of terrorism in a wrong way and on purpose so as to pressurise Pakistan. He also claimed that the security arrangements within India were not satisfactory. “It is totally incomprehensible not to allow someone to talk to media.”