Afghan President refuses to take call from Pak PM, but speaks to Modi

Even as he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an angry Afghan President Ashraf Ghani refused to take a phone call from Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who wanted to speak to him over the recent spate of terror attacks in the war-torn nation.

”Modi called me to offer condolences over the recent senseless killings of innocent civilians in Afghanistan by the enemies of humanity. We discussed the need for an end to terrorist sanctuaries in our neighbourhood (read Pakistan),’’ he tweeted after speaking to the Indian leader. Ghani said India had always been a good friend of Afghanistan, sharing its pain and grief.

However, he refused to take the call when the Pakistan PM telephoned him on Tuesday night to offer condolences over the terror attacks, the Afghan media said.

Instead, Ghani has decided to send a delegation of top Afghan officials to Pakistan, comprising the chief of the National Directorate of Security and the Interior Minister, to handover to Islamabad evidence relating to the recent attacks. The evidence would also be shared with Pakistan’s army.

This comes after Kabul was hit by a series of deadly attacks in the past 10 days in which nearly 150 people were killed and more than 100 wounded. The recent attacks appear to have prompted both the US administration and the Afghan regime to close the option of peace talks with the Taliban.

Ghani’s spokesman Shahhussain Murtazawi has said that “The Taliban has practically crossed the red line and today the Afghan government considers it its obligation to use all available resources and means against the terrorist groups.” But, the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) says that a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan must be sought. “Peace cannot be achieved by escalating the war,” HPC deputy head Nadir Naeem was quoted as saying.

Afghanistan has blamed Pakistan for increasing terrorist violence in the embattled nation. Lately, Kabul has openly been accusing Islamabad even at international forums of aiding and abetting terrorism against the embattled nation from the Pakistani soil.

Ghani, who has been invited to visit Islamabad time and again by the Pakistani leadership, has declined to go to the neighbouring country as a mark of protest over Pakistan’s continued interference in the internal affairs of his country.