HTLS 2017: Using terrorism as instrument of state policy must change, says Abdullah Abdullah

Chief executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah said differentiating between “good and bad terrorists” can have catastrophic consequences.

htls Updated: Nov 30, 2017 21:59 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Abdullah Abdullah,Hindustan Times Leadership Summit,HTLS 2017
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic Of Afghanistan speaks at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.(Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)

The use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy must change, chief executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, said on Thursday, alluding to extremist safe havens in Pakistan that threaten peace and stability in the region.

Speaking at the 15th edition of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in Delhi, Abdullah said differentiating between “good and bad terrorists” can have catastrophic consequences. He also thanked India for its friendship, especially for help in his country’s reconstruction.

“The neighbours should change the policy of using terrorism as an instrument of state policy,” responding to a question on how “Pakistan’s mind” can be changed to fight terrorism in the region.

The session was chaired by Amar Sinha, a retired diplomat and the country’s former envoy in Kabul.

Terrorism is among the primary challenges for Afghanistan as it rebuilds itself following years of a fundamentalist regime under the Taliban that ended in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

“We will protect our people against Talibanism. We urge all nations affected by terrorism to boost their efforts through intelligence sharing and cooperation,” he said.

The Afghan leader said he was hopeful about the new South Asia policy announced by US President Donald Trump this year, but said its full impact is yet to be determined. Trump said in August that American troops will stay in Afghanistan to help rebuilding efforts, while calling on Pakistan to stop harbouring militants.

Abdullah, a doctor-turned-politician, termed the Trump’s policy “not time-bound, but condition-based”. Here too, without naming Islamabad, he said Pakistan played a central role for the the policy to the successful.

“The full impact (Trump’s policy) is yet to be seen... There’s no doubt the Taliban is under pressure and that’s why they are targeting cities. The real impact will show itself when the neighbouring countries, where the (terror) sanctuaries are, act,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah, who received the second-highest votes in the 2014 presidential polls in Afghainistan, holds a special constitutional post giving prime ministerial powers to recommend crucial policy decisions to the president Ashraf Ghani.

The Afghan leader also praised “Indian generosity” in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, listing out assistance in infrastructure, education and trade.

“This is why India is a rising world power and not just an emerging regional economy,”

“The foundation for our bilateral relations is not accidental, nor is it a temporary phenomenon. (It is) regardless of evolving politics or shifting interests by governments,” the leader said,

India has committed $3 billion for various projects in Afghanistan, where it has built schools, roads, power transmission lines, dams and a new parliament building.

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First Published: Nov 30, 2017 13:41 IST