Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has taken a firm stand against joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during his recent visit to India, said a Tolo Newsreport.
Ghani has said that he would not join CPEC if Islamabad refused to permit connectivity between India and Afghanistan, according to India’s Live Mint news portal in the report.
It said the Afghan president also rejected what he termed a “Pakistan-managed” effort to broker peace in Afghanistan.
Ghani’s refusal came just a week after the recent four-nation Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QGC), comprising Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States, talks in Oman aimed at getting the Taliban to the peace talks tables.
During his speech at the Vivekananda International Foundation think tank in New Delhi, Ghani said Afghanistan was fully capable of concluding a peace process on its own.
“Our approach to internal peace is to own it through Afghan government-led processes,” Ghani said.
“We would like a push factor from Pakistan vis-a-vis the Taliban, not a Pakistan-managed peace process,” he added.
Pakistan has long been urging Kabul to eradicate “sanctuaries” for militants on its soil while Afghanistan, in turn, accuses Islamabad of sheltering the leadership of the Afghan Taliban militants who are battling the Western-backed government in Kabul.
Both countries deny aiding militants, but relations between the two have soured in recent years.