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Afghan head criticises Pakistan for being ‘terrorist sanctuary’

world Updated: Sep 30, 2015 14:13 IST

Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive officer of Afghanistan, delivers his address during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, US. (EPA Photo)

Afghanistan’s chief executive officer Abdullah Abdullah hit out against Pakistan for harbouring terrorists who crossover to “indiscriminately victimise our citizens” and accused it of going back on its promise to crack down on them.

“The presence of terrorist sanctuaries and support networks in Pakistan continue to cause trouble inside Afghanistan,” Abdullah told the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.

“Another fact is clear to Afghans across the board: Were it not for external support systems, access to arms and ammunitions, rest areas and hospitals, and funding and training, as part of strategic collusion with powerful elements in our neighborhood, this guerrilla style low-intensity warfare would have been history by now.”

“The Haqqani network has been identified as a main culprit and needs to be dismantled as has been our demand in the past,” Abdullah said.

In the clearest sign of Kabul’s disillusionment with Islamabad, Abdullah accused it of going back on its word.

When the new government headed jointly by Abdullah and President Ashraf Ghani took over in Afghanistan last year, it tried to foster closer ties with Pakistan, reversing the previous president Hamid Karzai’s policy.

“We call on Pakistan to do what its leadership promised to us a few months ago when they agreed to crackdown on known terror outfits -- meaning the enemies of Afghanistan,” he said.

He called for international help to have the two countries resolve the terrorist problem on a bilateral basis.

Abdullah cited the attacks in Kunduz province and the bomb blast at a sports match in which ten spectators were killed.

“Over the past 48 hours, hundreds of militants -- some of whom are foreign fighters -- organised attacks in Kunduz province, where heavy fighting is raging,” he said.

Striking a defiant note, he added, “These attempts will eventually fail to subdue us, as they have on other occasions over the past few years.”

Abdullah also expressed disappointment with the way peace talks with the Taliban have turned out after it was discovered that its leader Mullah Mohammed Omar had died three years ago in Paksitan. Calling the talks “a sham”, he said, “A loss of trust can have irreparable consequences for all sides.”

He appealed to regional stakeholders and international partners to use their good offices “for a genuine and durable confidence-building process, leading to talks with willing Taliban and other armed opposition groups”.