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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani declined invitation for Pakistan visit: deputy spokesman

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in KabulISLAMABAD: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has declined invitations extended by top civil and military officials to visit Pakistan, BBC Urdu reported on Wednesday.

Quoting the president’s Deputy Spokesman Dawa Khan Minapal, BBC Urdu reported that Ghani, who met with Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Naveed Mukhtar and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq over the past week, had rejected their invitations, saying he would not visit Pakistan until Islamabad hands over the perpetrators of terror attacks in Afghanistan.

“I will not go to Pakistan till the perpetrators behind the attacks in Mazar-i-Sharif, the American University [in Kabul] and the Kandahar attacks are handed over to Afghan authorities and until Islamabad takes concrete action against Afghan Taliban militants on Pakistani soil,” Minapal quoted Ghani as saying.

Afghan authorities claimed that the Afghan president, during his meeting with the ISI chief, presented documents relating to investigations into recent attacks in Afghanistan and urged Pakistan to hand over the perpetrators, BBC Urdu reported.

Kabul has long complained about terrorists using sanctuaries on Pakistani soil for launching strikes in Afghanistan ─ claims that Pakistan has strongly denied.

In the past week, three delegations from Pakistan have visited Kabul to hold talks with Afghan leadership.

Speaking to the media upon his return from Kabul, NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had said that Afghan leadership “promised” the Afghan president and the country’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah would visit Pakistan.

After the NA speaker’s visit, a high-level Pakistan Army delegation headed by Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Bilal Akbar visited Afghanistan and offered free medical treatment to Afghans injured Mazar-i-Sharif attack.

Most recently, speculation was rife about the DG ISI quietly meeting with Ghani in Afghanistan.

There has been no response from the Foreign Office or military leadership at home regarding the Afghan president’s refusal to visit Pakistan, BBC Urdu reported.

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