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Afghan president accuses Pakistan of giving ‘sanctuary’ to terrorists

Amritsar: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday accused Pakistan of providing ‘sanctuary’ to terrorists and mocked the neighbouring country over its promised aid to Afghanistan.

Addressing the Heart of Asia Conference underway in Amritsar, India, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the $500 million promised by Pakistan for Afghan reconstruction would be better utilised in ‘fighting terrorism’.

“We need to identify cross-border terrorism and a fund to combat terrorism. Pakistan’s pledged 500 million dollars for Afghanistan’s development can be spent to contain extremism,” Ghani said, directly addressing Pakistan’s advisor to Prime Minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, who is representing Pakistan in the conference.

Ashraf Ghani said terrorism is the biggest challenge facing Afghanistan and the country faces serious security threats. He added that the Heart of Asia Conference is being held in the backdrop of complex security situation in Afghanistan.

The Afghan President said his government is thankful to outgoing US President Obama and other world leaders for their efforts to improve security in the country.

He also thanked NATO for its efforts in combating security threats in the country.

Meanwhile Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani, in his address, thanked Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other countries for contributing in stabilising and developing Afghanistan.

The minister urged that everyone will have to work together to bring stability to Afghanistan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the conference also revolved around the theme of terrorism.

Urging action against “terror networks”, Modi called for a strong collective will to defeat terror networks causing bloodshed and spreading fear in the region.

He said operation against facilitators of terrorism is necessary to root out terrorism from the region.

Modi added that India’s focus is on making Afghanistan safer for its citizens. He further said that construction of an air corridor in India and Afghanistan is under review.

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