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Chance for Pakistan to mend ways: Ghani, Mattis

Chance for Pakistan to mend ways: Ghani, Mattis

Sep 27, 2017 - 19:27

 KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis agreed on Wednesday the new US strategy offered “a fresh opportunity” for Pakistaninfo-icon.

Mattis and NATOinfo-icon Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Kabul this morning and held talks with the Afghan president.

Addressing a joint press conference with Mattis and Stoltenberg, President Ghani thanked NATO member states for their support and the fight against terrorism.

The president thanked his own security forces for their huge sacrifices and bravery in the past three years after assuming responsibility for security of Afghanistaninfo-icon.

Ghani again hailed the new US strategy and around 3,000 more American troops would come to Afghanistan and hopefully NATO would also send more fresh troops for training Afghan forces.

“We need to take full advantage of the changes happening in the Afghan politics and the region. We need to work more hard for peace,” the Afghan president said.

Looking at its circumstances, Afghanistan would strive hard for peace and stability and achieving peace with Pakistan first was possible through state to state interaction.

“We are ready for comprehensive dialogue which may result in peace and stability of the region, the ball is in Pakistan court to take maximum advantage of the golden opportunity,” Ghani said.

No one could win though war, nor could anyone enforce their will on people though violence, the Afghan leader said.

He said there should be no doubt that the best solution to the Afghan conflict lied in intra-Afghan talks.

He added the Talibaninfo-icon had reached a critical point where they should stop serving the agenda of strangers and break their alliance with international terrorism.

The president once again asked the rebels to join the reconciliation process and start serving their people and take part in their country’s rebuilding.

Regarding Taliban office in Qatar, Ashraf Ghani said no discussion took place regarding the closure of the Taliban office in Doha and spurned reports in this regard.

He, however, said the Afghan government would decide about the fate of the Taliban office.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said he was totally agreed with the Afghan President that the new US strategy offered a chance to Pakistan to enter a new phase of war against terrorism.

He said the new South Asia policy was wide and covered the entire region. He said they would wait and see what Pakistan path takes.

Regarding Pakistan’s opposition to the new US strategy, the US defence secretary said: “We have announced our strategy and we would like to talk about it with those who may like it or refuse it. We would continue talking about different dimensions of our strategy and we will go ahead with it.”

He added the US would not leave Afghanistan alone and would not allow the country to become a safe haven for terrorists.

He said the US welcomed the Afghan government’s anti-graft strategy and fully supported it.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the alliance commitment for stable and secure Afghanistan. He said: “NATO doesn’t quit when the going gets tough. We keep our promises….I welcome President Trump’s new, conditions-based approach to Afghanistan and the region.”


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