Afghanistan president hails new US strategy, urges Pakistan to change policy

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KABUL (TCA) — In an address to the nation on August 23, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani hailed the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and called on neighboring Pakistan to change its approach toward his country, saying an unstable Afghanistan does not benefit anyone, RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan reported.

Ghani thanked U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration, saying that “after deep discussions, comprehensive evaluations, and fundamental debates, they came up with a strategy in which, God willing, our well-being and interests will be secured.”

“Don’t forget that Afghanistan is not only the front line of the war, but it also is the first bastion for [safeguarding] the world’s security,” he added. “This is where our mutual interests meet.”

Ghani also sent a message to Islamabad, which Kabul and Washington have long accused of harboring the Afghan Taliban and providing sanctuaries for terrorists inside Pakistan — a claim Islamabad denies.

“We, as a government, seek peace with the state of Pakistan and look for lasting peace,” the Afghan president said.

“A destabilized Afghanistan does not benefit anyone, it would particularly have a negative impact on Pakistan,” he added. “Today, there is a consensus that Pakistan should think over its past methods, and this is an opportunity.”

During his first formal address to the nation on August 21, Trump backtracked from his campaign pledge to end the United States’ longest war as he appeared to commit the country to an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan.

However, he sidestepped an announcement on U.S. troops levels in Afghanistan, saying he would not “talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities.”

The U.S. president also warned that Washington will no longer tolerate Pakistan offering “safe havens” to extremist groups such as the Afghan Taliban.

Sergey Kwan

TCA