Afghans not able to counter terror from Pakistan terror; claims Amrullah

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KABUL: Former Afghan spy chief Amrullah Saleh has claimed that the Afghanistan government hasn’t been able to tackle ‘terro’r emanating from Pakistan because it never adopted a consistent approach to the problem,

Saleh, the longest serving head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), said even though President Ashraf Ghani recently accused Pakistan of launching an “undeclared war” on Afghanistan, the government had done nothing to “increase the cost of war for Pakistan” or countered such moves.

During an interaction at the Indian Council of World Affairs, he said Kabul’s policy towards Islamabad has never been consistent. “If Pakistan has launched an undeclared war on us, what’s our response? Have we created a debate in the UN Security Council about the role of the Pakistan Army in terror attacks in my country? No. We have only complained to the media,” he said.

“We all know Pakistan has declared an undeclared war on Afghanistan but our response is neither politically proportionate to what they have done to us, nor militarily or otherwise. Have we provided sanctuary to their enemies? No.”

Saleh accused the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of having a direct link in supporting the Taliban, who have their “ideological headquarters” in Pakistan.

“As long as we do not acknowledge the existence of that ideological headquarters, they will be active. We are fighting the Taliban today with the assumption that Pakistan will never dismantle the ideological headquarters of the Taliban, it’s a deterrence which is very cheap for Pakistan…,” he said.

He was dismissive of efforts by China and Russia to broker peace in Afghanistan and called on India to play a larger role in supporting the Afghan government in its fight against terrorism and in reconstructing the war-torn country.

He also said it was good India had stayed away from recent talks proposed by Russia with the involvement of the Taliban as that would have legitimised the militants.