Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has called on Pakistan to engage on a comprehensive dialogue on peace, security and regional cooperation. The Afghan government, he said, has proven that it is committed to peace through its own internal processes, as demonstrated by the peace agreement with Hizb-i-Islami.
Afghanistan last year signed a peace agreement with the armed group’s commander, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who was once called the “butcher of Kabul”.
“I call upon Pakistan to engage with us on a comprehensive state to state dialogue on peace, security and regional cooperation leading to prosperity,” Ghani said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.
“Now, we call on all of our neighbours, near and far, to join us through the Kabul process in our comprehensive quest for peace and regional stability.
“However, moving forward, we ask for a change of perspective from our international partners. For too long, the conflict in Afghanistan has been viewed through the prism of a civil war. But this war is not within our soil, it is over our soil,” Ghani said.
Today, there are over 20 international terrorist groups with an imposed presence on Afghan soil, he said.
“The future of Afghanistan matters because we are on the frontlines of the global effort to eradicate the threat of terrorism. Our brave soldiers are fighting and dying for this cause, and the sovereignty of the Afghan nation, every day.
“Though we may be on the frontlines, the threat knows no boundaries. For terrorist groups who are harbored in the region, an attack in Kabul and an attack in Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, London or anywhere else are equal victories,” he said as he welcomed the new Afghan and South Asia strategy announced last month by US President Donald Trump.
“President Trump’s new strategy includes the disruption and denial of sanctuary to terrorists whose motives know no boundaries,” the Afghan president added.