Afghanistan’s chief executive has called on Pakistan to keep its promise to crack down on Islamic extremists blamed for carrying out cross-border attacks and destabilising the impoverished country, The Associated Press reported.
Abdullah Abdullah’s address Monday night to the UN General Assembly came hours after a stunning assault by the Taliban captured the strategic northern Afghan city of Kunduz in a multi-pronged attack involving hundreds of fighters.
Abdullah said some of the attackers had come from abroad, adding, “We call on Pakistan to do what its leadership promised to us a few months ago when they agreed to crack down on known terror outfits.”
Abdullah also cited the Islamic State as among the extremist groups sowing terror in Afghanistan, and said without external support “this guerrilla-style low intensity warfare would have been history by now”.
The Afghan leader expressed optimism that the insurgency would be defeated. “These attempts will eventually fail to subdue us, as they have on other occasions over the past few years,” he was quoted as saying by Afghanistan’s ToloNews.
Abdullah said Afghanistan was in the forefront of the combat against terrorism and extremism. “Afghanistan is suffering and its people demand solutions that are practical, verifiable and durable,” he said.
“The presence of terrorist sanctuaries and support networks in Pakistan continue to cause trouble inside Afghanistan. The Haqqani network has been identified as a main culprit and needs to be dismantled as has been our demand in the past.”
He said Afghanistan’s demands are legitimate as the people continue to suffer at the hands of terrorist elements who cross into Afghanistan and indiscriminately victimise citizens. “This matter can be addressed on a bilateral basis, and facilitated by trusted international partners.”
Abdullah called on regional stakeholders and Afghanistan’s international partners to realise the gravity of the situation, and use their good offices or any effective means to support the country’s aspirations for a genuine and durable confidence-building process leading to talks with willing Taliban and other armed opposition groups.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2015.