Ghani warns of consequences of Afghan conflict for region

Kabul, Jan 25 (IANS) Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has warned that the conflict in the country would intensify with consequences across the region if peace talks with the Taliban do not start by April.

“Time is not a friend,” he told BBC in an interview. “We all understand that February and March are crucial.”

The President said observers should understand the war in Afghanistan was “just one component” of a wider war that also encompassed Pakistan.

“The problems… are interrelated and cannot be solved by use of force in one country.

He suggested Pakistan should take action against Taliban groups that did not agree to talks.

“We need to see that we have common interests and we need to act together to preserve the state system and consolidate it,” he said.

Regarding the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) which is trying to expand in Afghanistan, President Ghani said it would be buried in Afghanistan.

He said IS was “not an Afghan phenomenon” and its atrocities had “alienated the people”.

“Afghans are now motivated by revenge,” he said. “They [IS] have confronted the wrong people,” Ghani added.

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