‘Want dignified relations, not charity’, Ghani says after rejecting Pakistan’s $500m

ghani-phones-pm-nawaz-1 President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said Wednesday that Afghanistan wants dignified relations with its neighbors and not charity, days after he rejected Pakistan’s $500 million aid during the Heart of Asia conference.

Speaking during a campaign held for the Afghan youths, President Ghani said “Afghanistan will live with dignity and will not ask for charity from anyone.”

His remarks were apparently aimed at the rejection of $500 million in aid pledged by Pakistan for the reconstruction of Afghanistan during the Brussels summit.

President Ghani further added that Afghanistan is not facing an internal conflict but is on the frontline of an international war.

He did not elaborate further regarding the international war being waged in the country but his remarks were apparently aimed at the ‘undeclared war’ term being frequently used by him to reflect Pakistan’s support to Afghan militant groups.

However, President Ghani said Afghanistan is currently at the center point of the international community attention and vowed that the country will be rebuilt, insisting that this will go ahead ‘whether the enemy likes or not’.

 President Ghani said during his speech at the 6th Heart of Asia conference on Sunday that “Despite our intense engagement with Pakistan on bilateral and multilateral basis, the undeclared war – the name that I gave to the phenomenon in the winter 2014 – not only has not abated but also intensified during 2016, with special intensity right after the Brussels Conference.”

Citing a Taliban commander’s remarks about Pakistan, President Ghani said “As Mr. Kakazada, one of the key figures in the Taliban movement recently said, if they did not have sanctuary in Pakistan, they would not last a month.”

President Ghani insisted on the need for intense dialogue and engagement to resolve the issue, including fight against criminal economics, and an Asian and international regime, whatever acceptable, particularly, to Pakistan to verify cross-frontier activities and terrorist operations.

He also added “Thirdly, there is need for a fund to combat extremism. Pakistan has generously pledged 500 million dollars for reconstruction of Afghanistan. This fund, Mr. Aziz, could very well be used for containing extremism because without peace any amount of assistance will not meet the needs of our people. We have been balancing the opportunities and the threats. I am confident that focused, deliberate and systematic efforts can enable us to win a world and to make Afghanistan and Asia secure. Once again, thank you for your attention.” -KP


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