Heart of Asia Conference: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Rejects Pakistan’ Offer of $500 Million

Amritsar: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday snubbed Pakistan’s offer to invest $500 million to reconstruct his war-torn country, saying Islamabad should instead use the money to fight terrorists operating on its soil.

“No amount of money can assist us if there is support to terrorists by Pakistan. Military operations in Pakistan have brought about selective displacement of terrorists… State-sponsored sanctuaries exist in Pakistan… Even the Taliban say they cannot survive even a month without support from Pakistan,” Ghani said at the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar.

The Afghanistan President also appreciated India’s unconditional support for the economic development of Afghanistan. “India’s support to Afghanistan to improve people’s life is transparent with no strings attached,” he said.

He was addressing the inaugural function of the 6th ministerial ‘Heart of Asia conference – Istanbul Process on Afghanistan’ in Amritsar which is being attended by leaders from south and central Asia and several western countries.

Hitting back, Pakistan PM’s adviser Sartaj Aziz, who is representing Islamabad the summit, said it was “simplistic to blame just one country for the violence”. “We are cognizant that Afghanistan continues to face serious challenges… This needs to be addressed,” he said.

Ghani’s strong snub to Pakistan was also criticised by Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan, who said the President “should not have used the forum for the attack on Pakistan”.