No to CPEC unless Pakistan provides trade access to India: President Ghani

Ashraf-GhaniAfghan President Ashraf Ghani has said that his country will not be a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) unless it is given access to Pakistan’s Wagah and Attari border, DNA India reported on Wednesday.

Addressing a gathering at the Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi, Ghani said that Kabul will restrict Pakistan’s access to central Asia if it is not given access to India through the CPEC project, according to the DNA article.

The comment comes a week after a meeting took place between representatives of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States in Oman, in which the revival of peace talks with the Taliban was discussed.

“Sanctuaries are provided, logistics are provided, training is provided, ideological base is provided […] Pakistan has come to a juncture and it needs to make a choice,” DNA quoted Ghani as saying. “Our reaction will be determined by its [Pakistan’s] choices.”

According to DNA, the Afghan president also welcomed India’s new role in Afghanistan as discussed in the new US policy for the region.

Ghani termed the Trump administration’s South Asia strategy a “game-changer” for the region as it “recommends multi-dimensional condition-based approach for the region.”

Ghani visited India just a day after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s surprise visit to Afghanistan. -DN

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