Pakistan has not severed its relationship with terror groups, said Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani in a charge at the neighbouring country as Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan sat a few feet away on stage at Central and South Asia connectivity conference held here on Friday. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who also attended the conference, referred to problems with transit trade in his speech alluding to Pakistan. He said economic development and prosperity go “hand in hand” with peace and security.
In a hard-hitting speech, Mr. Ghani said more than 10,000 ‘jihadi’ fighters have entered Afghanistan in the last month, according to intelligence reports, while the Pakistan government had failed to convince the Taliban to participate “seriously” in the peace talks.
“Contrary to repeated assurances by Prime Minister Khan and his Generals that Pakistan does not find a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in Pakistan’s interest and short of use of force will use its power and influence to make the Taliban negotiate seriously, networks and organizations supporting the Taliban are openly celebrating the destruction of the assets and capabilities of the Afghan people and State,” Mr. Ghani said at the inaugural ceremony of the conference, as he listed the challenges and threats to regional connectivity.