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Afghan Prez Ghani refuses to visit Pakistan till terrorists are handed over

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has refused to visit Pakistan till the country hands over the perpetrators of terror attacks such as the assault on a military base in Mazar-e-Sharif.

world Updated: May 04, 2017 17:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Afghanistan-Pakistan ties,President Ashraf Ghani,Ghani refuses to visit Pakistan
File photo of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani talking with a victim wounded in the April 21 attack on an army base in Mazar-e-Sharif. (Reuters)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said he will not visit Pakistan till the country hands over the perpetrators of recent terror attacks and takes action against Afghan Taliban fighters operating from Pakistani soil.

Ghani declined invitations from Pakistan’s top civilian and military leaders to visit the country, his deputy spokesman Dawa Khan Minapal told BBC Urdu.

Among the Pakistani officials whose invitations were spurned were Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency director general Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

“I will not go to Pakistan till the perpetrators behind the attacks in Mazar-e-Sharif, the American University (in Kabul) and Kandahar are handed over to Afghan authorities and until Islamabad takes concrete action against Afghan Taliban militants on Pakistani soil,” Ghani was quoted as saying by Minapal.

During his meeting with the ISI chief, Ghani presented documents related to investigations into recent attacks in Afghanistan and urged Pakistan to hand over the perpetrators, afghan authorities said.

Kabul has often complained that terrorists use sanctuaries within Pakistan to launch strikes in Afghanistan. Pakistan has strongly denied these allegations.

More than 140 people were killed and dozens more injured when Taliban fighters carried out a suicide attack on a key military base at Mazar-e-Sharif.

Pakistan has stepped up efforts to improve relations with Afghanistan in recent weeks. In the past week alone, three Pakistani delegations have travelled to Kabul for talks with the Afghan leadership.

After returning from Kabul, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had said the Afghan leadership had “promised” that Ghani and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah would visit Pakistan.

A Pakistan Army delegation led by the chief of general staff, Lt Gen Bilal Akbar, also visited Afghanistan and offered free treatment to Afghans injured in the attack in Mazar-e-Sharif.

First Published: May 04, 2017 17:26 IST