Amid strain in Indo-Pak ties over the Kashmir issue, Afghanistan on Wednesday complimented India’s “genuine” efforts to combat terrorism and said use of terror to pursue strategic goals must be stopped.
Afghan Ambassador Shaida Mohammad Abdali, without naming Pakistan, said using terrorism as a “tool” selectivity should not be tolerated and that there should be a united fight to deal with the challenge.
“India’s struggle for peace, India’s struggle to ensure a peaceful, a stable region should not be questioned. We have full belief in India’s genuine efforts to fight terrorism,” Abdali said.
He was responding to a question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference, during his Independence Day speech, to the situation in Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“Unfortunately, terrorism is being used as a tool, selectivity in terms of good and bad terrorists. Unless and until we put an end to this miscalculated, misguided, ill-intentions we have in our region, the spread of terrorism and the destruction it causes will double.
“So it is high time we join hands and stop using terrorism for our strategic goals, in this region and that we use all civilised ways and means to live in this region peacefully,” Abdali added.
On Indo-Afghan ties, Abdali indicated his government’s keenness to have more military supplies from India. “Efforts from both sides is that we enhance our relationship in all areas, including in defence.”
The envoy was talking to reporters after receiving a father-son duo from Afghanistan, who have cycled in last 14 months nearly 11,000 kms across 15 countries to spread the message of world peace.
“Daesh (Islamic State) as a new phenomenon, looks for much wider presence, influence and control, compared to what they are doing in Afghanistan. So, the current situation and design is beyond Afghanistan when it comes to Daesh,” he said.
The envoy hoped that countries in the region, especially India, Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran will join hands and work on a common counter-terrorism strategy to fight the menace with full sincerity.
“It is a shared future and shared development. We are all in the same boat. And, as a region, if this boat sinks, the whole region will suffer but if we want to swim then that swimming effort requires everyone to be sincere to one another,” the Afghan ambassador said.