Afghanistan Pakistan

Ashraf Ghani, Afghan President will drag Pakistan to UN over Taliban


KABUL: After courting Pakistan for more than a year, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan changed course on Monday and warned that he would lodge a complaint with the United Nations Security Council if Pakistan refuses to take military action against Taliban commanders operating from its soil to wage an increasingly deadly insurgency across Afghanistan.

Ghani has taken pains to persuade Pakistan’s leadership, particularly its powerful military, to bring the insurgent leaders to the negotiating table. But an increase in Taliban violence has forced Ghani to effectively end what has been a cornerstone effort of his troubled presidency.

“I want to make it clear that we do not expect Pakistan to bring the Taliban to talks,” Ghani said on Monday in a rare joint session of the two houses of the Afghan parliament. He said that in quadrilateral talks over the past year that involved the US and China, Pakistan had pledged “in writing” to go after Taliban leaders who refuse to join the peace process.

“We want the Pakistanis to fulfill their promises in the quadrilateral and take military action against those who have their centres in Pakistan and whose leaders are in Pakistan based on our security organisations, the intelligence of our international partners, and the words of Pakistan officials,” Ghani said.

“If we do not see a change, despite our hopes and efforts for regional cooperation, we will be forced to turn to the UN Security Council and launch serious diplomatic efforts.” In his address on Monday, Ghani called the insurgents terrorists who “take pleasure in the torn-up bodies of our innocents,” and their leaders “slavelike” and involved in narcotics mafias. nyt news service

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