Hours after India and Afghanistan, in a joint statement, expressed “grave concern” at the use of terrorism and violence in the region for “achieving political objectives”, the visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani hinted at Pakistan and said making a distinction between good and bad terrorists was “dangerous”.
Speaking at a gathering at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Ghani said: “We see that there is a distinction (being made) between good and bad terrorists. Good terrorists are the ones that attack your neighbours, bad terrorists are the ones who attack you. This is dangerous. The blow-back phenomenon is going to be bad. Terrorism is a snake that will bite.”
Stressing that Afghanistan does not allow the use of its territory for fights against other countries, he said, “We are under attack. We behave as a responsible state. How many Haqqani network people has Pakistan taken action against?”
Earlier in the day, the joint statement, without naming Pakistan, said Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the situation in the region and expressed grave concern at continued use of terrorism for achieving political objectives.
“They agreed that this phenomenon presented the single biggest threat to peace, stability and progress in the region and beyond. Stressing that elimination of all forms of terrorism, without any discrimination, is essential, they called upon the concerned to put an end to all sponsorship, support, safe havens and sanctuaries to terrorists, including for those who target Afghanistan and India,” the statement said.
According to the joint statement, Modi reiterated India’s support for a unified, sovereign, democratic, peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
He conveyed India’s readiness to consider further requirements for capability building in spheres such as education, health, agriculture, infrastructure and strengthening of democratic institutions.
“To this end, the Prime Minister offered that, as a close neighbour and friend of Afghanistan and its people, India would allocate a sum of USD 1 billion,” the statement said.
After the talks, the two sides signed three pacts — on extradition, cooperation in civil and commercial matters and cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space.
Both leaders said they looked forward to resumption of India-US-Afghanistan consultations in New York later this month.
Replying to a question on Ghani’s request for arms and ammunition, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told reporters that both leaders reaffirmed their resolve to counter terrorism and strengthen security and defence cooperation as envisaged in the India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement. He did not elaborate on the specifics.
He also talked about India’s offer of supplying 1.75 lakh tonne of wheat to Afghanistan, which was battling shortage of the grain.
Jaishankar added that India wanted to supply the wheat and requested Pakistan for transit “months back”, adding, “we have not received any response”.