KABUL - Addressing a debate in New York, President Ashraf Ghani says he extended his hand to Pakistan – for talks – “but they spit on it”.
Addressing a debate at the Council on Foreign Relations, President Ashraf Ghani said the Taliban and Pakistan are responsible for instability and war in Afghanistan.
He said he has reached out to Pakistan many times but his demand for peace was not accepted by the neighboring country.
“I reached out to Pakistan upon weeks of becoming president. I am the rare Afghan president or the rare civilian leader in the area to have gone to the (Pakistan) army headquarters for a detailed conversation, because the argument was that this despite, disagreements and misunderstandings were based on persons and what became very clear was that there was no personal issue; there was a fundamental set of differences in interests and unfortunately repeated assurances that we were engaged were not realized,” he said.
“I extended my hand to Pakistan and they spit on it, because they thought they could overture us,” he said.
He said Afghanistan is looking to an opportunity to have a comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan.
“What would you like us to do when the capital of the country is attacked and every single civilian space is attacked, every mosque is attacked; should we hold our hands behind our back and offer surrender? We are not responsible for this war; the Taliban are. Let’s understand who is responsible for elevation of military use of force,” he added.
This comes after Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Prime Minister of Pakistan, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly said the Afghan war is its own.
"To end all cross border attacks we ask the Afghan government and the Coalition to support and complement Pakistan's ongoing efforts to strengthen border controls and monitor all movement across it. What Pakistan is not prepared to do is to fight the Afghan war on Pakistan's soil. Neither can we endorse any failed strategy that will prolong and intensify the suffering of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan and other regional countries," he said.