‘Fundamental problem with Pak is their inaction’: Abdullah on Afghan peace

Davos: Afghan Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday said that peace reconciliation in Afghanistan will be ‘the greatest prosperous asset for Pakistan’ in terms of energy, which can only be achieved if the latter tries to change its approach over terrorism.

“Afghanistan wants an engagement with Pakistan. Our relationship falls in three buckets. Our fundamental problem with Pak is their inaction. 1: removing shadow of violence. 2: we will be the greatest prosperous asset for Pakistan in terms of energy. 3: the joint issue which is terrorism,” Abdullah was quoted was speaking on the margins of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos.

The statement from the CEO came following reports that the United States and the Taliban are close to reach a deal over the issue of peaceful reconciliation in the region. On the fourth day of the ongoing negotiations between the US and the Taliban in Qatar, the latter, at the same time, also assured that it would not allow any terror group to initiate attacks against foreign nations from the Afghan soil, Tolo News reported.

The Afghan CEO also appreciated the role of United States Special Representatives for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in facilitating talks over the issue among Pakistan, India and the US.
“The function of Ambassador Khalilzad’s office is to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table with Afghan government. We need regional and international consensus to achieve peace,” Ghani said.

“Afghans as a nation and as a state are dedicated to overcoming the past. According to a World Bank analysis, if Pakistan continues the current course, they will be a very poor country by 2047. If they change and engage in regional cooperation, they could be a middle-income country,” he added.

While addressing the issue of US withdrawing half of its troops from Afghanistan, Abdullah noted that Washington’s South Asia Strategy is ‘very thoughtful response to the situation on the ground’ and may facilitate in achieving peace in the region.

“The South Asia Strategy is a very thoughtful response to the situation on the ground. First, the core of South Asia Strategy was to bring peace to Afghanistan, and we have welcomed this. Second, it is a conditions-based strategy. We’ve reformed our security forces,” Ghani said.

This comes after Abdullah on Wednesday hit out at the Taliban for its lackadaisical attitude towards the peace talks initiated by the Afghan government. Citing the group’s hardline approach towards the Afghan government, Abdullah clarified that the people of the country were not in favour of the Taliban’s style of governance or to see them back in power.

The Afghan CEO clarified further that the Ghani administration did not set any pre-conditions for the peace talks.

In a veiled reference to Pakistan, Abdullah warned certain countries in the region against supporting terrorism, saying that such an approach “will harm those who provide sanctuaries to them”.