In an oblique reference to Pakistan backing various terror groups, Afghanistan today said time has come to send a strong message to states sponsoring terrorism. Afghan Ambassador Shaida Abdali said terror has been used as a tool against both Afghanistan and India and that concerted efforts must be initiated to combat terrorism in the region. He said those supporting terror is known to everyone now. Abdali’s comments during a lecture at a leading think- tank came days after over 140 people were killed in a Taliban attack on an army base in the Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
He said that time has come to revive the India- Afghanistan-US trilateral dialogue to ensure a well- coordinated strategy against terrorism. “State sponsorship of terrorism has become an old fact. We are hoping and waiting for this ground reality to change,” he said. He further said that India will continue to hold a strategic place in all areas of cooperation. “Afghanistan’s effort to address its immediate security and development priorities, while dealing with its immediate neighbourhood and beyond will in no way affect the country’s strategic relationship with India,” he said. Abdali said India’s support on the accomplishment of Afghan military “wish list” is an ongoing process, but that he would not like to talk about it in public. The envoy said there should not be any “duplicity and selectivity” in defining terrorism. “Using one terror outfit against the other is nothing but a disaster, not a solution – the recent Taliban attack on Afghan Army in Mazar-e-sharif is a case in point,” he said.
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Abdali also condemned the Naxalite attack in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district yesterday in which 25 CRPF personnel were killed. He said that the states sponsoring terrorism must be delivered a strong message not to indulge in such acts, adding “If we continue to use one terrorist group against another, the future is very dark,” he said, adding, “Terrorism is the biggest challenge which is hampering our vision and progress.” He also pitched for a regional consensus for long-term stability in Afghanistan and support to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process
“India and Afghanistan need to conduct a strategic review of our bilateral, regional and international partnerships to deal with the evolving uncertain world,” he said.
Abdali said the future of Afghanistan’s security environment will depend on a holistic and sincere fight against terrorism both at the regional and global level. He also complimented India for its contribution in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.