Ashraf Ghani says no to CPEC unless Pakistan gives trade access to India


KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said that his country will not be a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) unless it is given access to Pakistan’s Wagah and Attari border.

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani shake hands before a meeting on Tuesday.

Addressing a gathering at the Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi, Ghani said that Kabul will restrict Pakistan’s access to central Asia if it is not given access to India through the CPEC project, according to the DNA report.
The comment comes a week after a meeting took place between representatives of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States in Oman, in which the revival of peace talks with the Taliban was discussed.
“Sanctuaries are provided, logistics are provided, training is provided, ideological base is provided […] Pakistan has come to a juncture and it needs to make a choice,” DNA quoted Ghani as saying. “Our reaction will be determined by its [Pakistan’s] choices.”
According to the report, the Afghan president also welcomed India’s new role in Afghanistan as discussed in the new US policy for the region. Ghani termed the Trump administration’s South Asia strategy a “game-changer” for the region as it “recommends multi-dimensional condition-based approach for the region.”
Ghani visited India just a day after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s surprise visit to Afghanistan and reportedly briefed the Indian leadership of details of his talks with him at an American base in Bagram.
Ashraf Ghani has already stopped the entry of Pakistani trade trucks im Afghanistan. All trucks have been ordered to stop at border. (Details news on page-33)

Meeting with Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues in New Delhi and expressed their “firm resolve” to end the menace of terrorism. The two leaders also discussed ways to further the shared objective of promoting security and stability in Afghanistan.
“Furthering ‘neighbourhood first’ policy with a strategic partner. Prime Minister Modi receives president Ghani at Hyderabad House,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. “Prime Minister Modi and president Ghani discussed range of bilateral, regional and global issues, express firm resolve to end menace of terrorism,” he added.