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Govt asked to pick India over Pakistan

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: In the wake of President Ashraf Ghani’s trip to India, a number of lawmakers on Wednesday suggested the government to boost up its relations with India and make better use of the current opportunity.

They said Pakistan has failed in establishing honest relations with Kabul, thus the Afghan government should leave no stone unturned to improve and extend its ties with New Delhi.

The MPs termed the Ghani’s state visit to India as fruitful, and said friendly and close relations with India can prove vital for Afghanistan, in compare with its ties with Islamabad because India has been honest with Afghans in the course of history.

Nilofar Ibrahimi, an MP from Badakhshan, said that President Ghani should establish close ties with India, more than some other countries like Pakistan, as Pakistan has lost its credibility among Afghans and they will no more trust Islamabad due to its double policy towards Afghanistan. “Islamabad has failed to prove its honesty in its relations Kabul, because it was not succeeded to bring the Taliban to the table of negotiations while the National Unity Government (NUG) set a six-month deadline for Pakistan in this regard,” she added.

She termed Ghani’s visit to India as useful, and said Kabul should further its ties with New Delhi as India as powerful economic country will benefit the Afghan economy and will boost up investment in several development projects.

However, she said that Kabul-New Delhi relations should be well managed aimed them useful for both the countries.

Mohammad Sarwar Osmani, an MP from Farah, termed India as time-tested friend of Afghanistan, and said the two countries’ relations should be strengthened further. “India has been one of the major supporters of Afghans from the past but Pakistan has always been harsh against Afghans and has sent terrorists to the country to disrupt security here,” he added.

He said the President’s trip to India is a good omen, adding that Kabul can sign different agreements with New Delhi in economic, military and security fields, but the deals should not violate the national interests of Afghans.

In reply to a query about rivalries between India and Pakistan, Osmani said the national interests of Afghanistan should be preferred by the Afghan government as one of its top priorities. “It is Islamabad that has fueled conflicts in nine northern provinces of Afghanistan therefore Kabul should strengthen its ties with the real and honest countries,” he suggested.

He blamed Pakistan for creating hurdles before trade and transit of Afghanistan, and said Afghans cannot trust on Pakistan and its agreements as it has never implemented its commitments in several aspects.

Lawmaker Shirwali Wardak said that terrorism is a threat to the world therefore war on terror needs joint efforts by all regional states.

“Relations with India should be used in favor of Afghanistan as Pakistan will never tolerate Kabul’s good relations with New Delhi,” he said.

He added that Pakistan has never been sincere towards helping the peace process in the country and has never wanted to uproot militancy and terrorism in Afghanistan. “But on the other side, India has always tried to root out wards in Afghanistan and make the country as a trade hub for its products. It is impossible to have good relations both with New Delhi and Islamabad at the same time,” he opined.

Hinting at opening of Chabahar port for Afghan investors, the lawmaker said that it will overcome transit problem in the country.

It is comes as civilian government of Pakistan has always claimed that has been as close friend of Afghanistan, and has rejected allegations about sending terrorists to Afghanistan.

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