AFP/Afghanistan calls India an ‘all-weather friend’

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SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

Just days after newly-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called for an end to the traditional ’blame game’ between Pakistan and Afghanistan, acting Interior Minister Umer Daudzai alleged that the Taliban gets training and equipment in Pakistan.

“During the winter, the Taliban cross the Durand Line into their shelters in Pakistan, where they get training and equipment, and come back along with new recruits the following spring,” Daudzai, a close confidant of former President Hamid Karzai, told the Munich Security Conference Core Group Meeting in New Delhi.

Daudzai’s remarks come days after Ghani’s statements in favor of marking an end the Karzai-era mistrust and to open an era of tension-free relationship.

“We must avoid accusing each other and must create an atmosphere of trust between us. Today, a new window has been opened in relations between the two countries. We hope that the new window will turn into a door and finally into a corridor of cooperation,” President Ghani told the Pakistani National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz in Kabul on Sunday.

However, the Afghan interior minister pursued traditional tactics at an international forum in sheer disregard to his president’s positive approach to open a new chapter in bilateral relations.

“They (Taliban) are accompanied by Pakistani-based extremist militant organisations as well as regional terrorist outfits such as IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan), ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) etc,” Daudzai said, in a written speech posted on his official Twitter account on Wednesday.

He said the IMU and ETIM latter are using Afghan Taliban as guides to cross over to Central Asia and beyond.

“This means we are located on the crossroads of terrorists going back and forth from subcontinent to Central Asia, Middle East and China.”

He claimed these militants have very close links with the drug and weapon mafia in Central Asia.

“With the help of the money they get from supplying drugs, they buy weapons to destabilise Afghanistan and the region as a whole.”

Describing India as “an all-weather friend of Afghanistan,” the Afghan Interior Minister admitted Kabul’s failure to eliminate the Taliban, whom Karzai had always termed as the “sons of Afghan soil.”

“We have challenges too, and rather serious challenges. We have not been able to break the Taliban movement and seasonal cycles,” Daudzai, who served as Karzai’s top diplomat in Pakistan.

However, Daudzai realised the key role of neighbours in the peace process with the Taliban.

“We all know that for a genuine peace settlement, our neighbors’ sincere cooperation is key. In this respect, we are inviting our neighbors to have a fresh look at the arising opportunities and see the threat that they are also now faced with,” the Afghan minister told the conference.

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