Ashraf Ghani accuses Islamabad of allowing suicide bombers refuge without offering any proof of his allegations.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani lambasted Pakistan on Monday over a recent wave of insurgent attacks in the capital Kabul that killed at least 56 people.
“The last few days have shown that suicide bomber training camps and bomb-producing factories which are killing our people are as active as before in Pakistan,” Ghani told a news conference. “We hoped for peace but we are receiving messages of war from Pakistan.”
Pakistan has historically supported the Taliban insurgents and many Afghans accuse it of nurturing militant sanctuaries on its soil in the hope of maintaining influence in Afghanistan, despite lack of evidence. Since coming to power last year Ghani has courted the Pakistanis, expending substantial domestic political capital in the process, in hopes Islamabad will persuade the Taliban to come to the negotiating table.
But his comments on Monday are the strongest yet against the neighboring country. “In my telephone call with Pakistan prime minister [on Sunday], I told Pakistan to see terrorism in Afghanistan the same way it sees terrorism in Pakistan,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “I ask the Pakistani government if the mass killings of Shah Shaheed had happened in Islamabad and the perpetrators were in Afghanistan, what would you do?” he said, referring to a Kabul neighborhood that suffered a fatal truck bombing on Friday.
In response to Ghani’s remarks, Pakistan said it condemned the recent deadly attacks in the “strongest terms.”
“Having been the biggest victim of terrorism itself… Pakistan can feel the pain and anguish of the brotherly people… of Afghanistan,” a government statement said.
At least five people were killed Monday when a Taliban suicide car bomber struck near the entrance of Kabul’s international airport. The attack follows a barrage of deadly bombings in the Afghan capital on Friday, which struck close to an army complex, a police academy and a U.S. special forces base and killed at least 51 people.