This Article is From Sep 15, 2016

Exclusive: Isolate Those Who Wink, Blink At Terror, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Tells NDTV

Some leaders make choices which harm their countries: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Pakistan

New Delhi: Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani today echoed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent strong statement against terrorism from Pakistani soil. Speaking exclusively to NDTV at the end of his working visit to New Delhi, the second of his term, the Afghan president said, "Some leaders make choices that harm their countries, choices that harm their people. What I'd like to respectfully mention is that a ladder is being climbed, the end of which is going to be isolation for those who tolerate or wink or blink against terrorism."

President Ghani was answering a specific question on whether sanctions against Pakistan are the only solution to terror in the region or whether any such move may backfire.

"If they sponsor terrorism, they will deserve the label of state-sponsors of terrorism. But, that's an important and well determined legal path and when people embark on it, dossiers and files have to be complete so the judgement can be made," he added.

Answering NDTV's follow-up question on whether Pakistan faced the danger of sanctions if that judgement is made if Islamabad doesn't change its choices, President Ghani said, "I do. I do."

Exactly a week ago, PM Modi had hit out again at Pakistan, without naming it, at the South East Asian Nations Summit in Laos. "One country in our neighbourhood, whose competitive advantage rests solely in producing and exporting terrorism... The time has come to isolate and sanction this instigator," the PM had said.

Afghanistan has also been accusing groups from Pakistan of being behind several deadly attacks in the country. President Ghani acknowledged that he dialed Pakistan's Army Chief directly not Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to demand action during the attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. That attack killed at least 16 people.

The Afghan leader told NDTV, "The Afghan National Security Council was sitting, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah was present. We provided names of the people as the operation was happening. We needed to make it clear, this is an important moment and they need to make choices. Fortunately, they did arrest some people, but it needs to be a broad issue. An operation is carried out from somewhere through open recruitment and with networks of support. There is a responsibility."