Deeply concerned by Pakistan’s controversial role on the war against insurgency, the Afghan government on Saturday repeated its call to Islamabad to take practical steps against terrorist groups carrying out attacks from within the neighboring country.
The government of Afghanistan is clear that Pakistan needs to fight insurgency and stop providing a safe haven to these groups, said Sayed Zafar Hashemi, a deputy presidential spokesman, on Saturday at a press conference.
His statement comes a day before the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to meet U.S President Barack Obama in Washington as part of his state visit to the United States. Sharif’s visit starts on Sunday.
Ahead of the Obama and Sharif meeting, the government of Afghanistan has called on Pakistan to come up with a solid action plan to fight certain elements that issue war decrees against our nation, Hashemi stated.
U.S and Pakistani leaders are expected to debate regional stability and the situation in Afghanistan – as Kabul blames its notorious neighbor for harboring terrorists in a bid to follow its own strategic objectives over the war-ravaged country.
A perception exists in Afghanistan that peace can be achieved if Pakistan is honest in its war against terrorism. Many Afghans believe that Pakistan holds enough influence to convince the Taliban to lay down its arms and come to the peace negotiation tables, he said.
“Our demand from the Pakistani government is to target those groups who conspire attacks against Afghanistan – the groups who openly issue war decrees over loud speakers against Afghanistan. If terror hideouts in Pakistan are eliminated, we will know who to make peace with,” Hashemi said.
Hashemi also touched on the establishment of the Council of Jihadi Leaders and Political Parties, a council reportedly formed by former Jihadi leaders and politicians to help government ease ongoing conflict.
“Government will consider recommendations of the council and views gathered in the council can be included in national politics,” he said. However, Hashemi rejected rumors about building militia groups in the country.
“We never support militia groups, president of Afghanistan never agreed to create militias,” he said.
Hashemi’s press conference comes on the heels of a growing number of calls for the Mujahideen to be used to fight insurgency. Among those proposing the move are the president’s special representative for reform and good governance, Ahmad Zia Massoud and minister of foreign affairs Salahuddin Rabbani.
“Taliban do not have mercy on any ethnicity or group. Hence, we have to be alert to prevent these elements from changing provinces into another Kunduz,” Rabbani said.
At a recent meeting with Kapisa residents, Massoud also repeated Rabbani’s call to consider integrating Mujahideen into the fight against insurgents.
“We have reached this conclusion that we must regulate our respected Mujahideen and young people within the framework of security institutions because these Mujahideen, especially their commanders have given their test during the war and resistance era so that they should be able to take over the leadership of war,” Massoud said, who received a warm welcome from the people of Kapisa and the ex-Jihadists a few days ago.
Following the fall of Kunudz city to Taliban nearly three weeks back, many from inside and outside the government came out in support of the public defense council aimed at fostering security forces and suppressing a surge in Taliban activities.
This comes a day after President Ashraf Ghani visited the battle-scarred city of Kunduz where he reaffirmed his support to Afghan forces and declared the Taliban rebels.