Ghani says Pakistan not in favor of an Islamic Emirate

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Thursday that Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa told him this week that the revival of an Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan was not in Pakistan’s interest.

“Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff has made it clear that reviving the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan is not in Pakistan’s national interest,” Ghani said.

After Eid prayers at the Presidential Palace on Thursday, Ghani addressed the nation and called on the Taliban to seize the current peace process opportunity and end the war.

He said the withdrawal of foreign troops was presenting the biggest chance for peace and he called on the Taliban not to miss this historic opportunity.

According to him, the war has cost the country $1 billion so far.

Calling on the Taliban, he said: “What is your message? Why are you destroying the districts? Show me a district that the Taliban is in full control of and has built something.”

Ghani also said in response to the Eid message from Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada that: “Mr. Hibatullah, before sending a message [for people to surrender], look at the history of this nation [which never surrenders].”

Ghani also told the Taliban to make a choice as violence is not the solution.

“The Taliban must make a choice, because our choice is that the only solution to the country’s problem is political compromise and war cannot solve the problem,” Ghani said.

Ghani further added that: “The beauty of a republican system is that every president is outgoing. Our condition is elections; as soon as you want, my colleagues and I are ready not to stand in elections and to listen to the will of the nation.”

He also assured the nation that cooperation by the international community will be better and more regulated once troops have withdrawn.

“Be sure that international cooperation will be better and more efficiently regulated. Regional consensus is accelerating to consolidate Afghanistan’s key role in the Heart of Asia,” Ghani added.

On Afghanistan’s foreign policy, Ghani said, in future, all decisions on “our security and regional relations will be made based on the national interests.

“I have always said that we have neither permanent enemies nor permanent friends, because only our national interests are permanent,” Ghani said.

Ghani also said that after every darkness there will be a bright future.

“Our state of mind is a state of national grief. The blood of our martyrs, especially Sayed Al-Shuhada School, Logar, Kunar, Zabul, Arghandab and all the families of the victims of Afghanistan are in our thoughts, but God’s will is that light shines after every darkness,” he said.