President Ashraf Ghani in an address to the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Thursday, June 27, said that Pakistan should follow the “strategy of persuasion” in order to create a cooperation environment between the two countries as it has “strong interdependencies” with the Taliban.
Ghani stressed the need for giving up the “bad strategy” which he believes is the repeating of past mistakes in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“The strategy of persuasion allows us to develop a good strategy. In this part, Pakistan has an important role and that there are strong interdependencies between Taliban and Pakistan. We need to recognize this and arrive it programmatic approaches to move from conflict to cooperation,” Ghani explained.
Ghani said he is in Pakistan as the representative of the sovereign state of Afghanistan to seek a relation of equality and cooperation between two sovereign states.
“Our stability and our prosperity are linked in related to mutual respect for our sovereignties,” Ghani said. “Today, we are in a strategic moment. A moment where we can use history by overcoming the past.”
Ghani said that 3,200 delegates from the Loya Jirga instructed him to normalize the relations with Pakistan.
“In order to move forward, I don’t want to dwell on the past but differentiate between two types of strategies. One is a bad strategy. Bad strategy is not absent of bad strategy it is truly repeating the mistakes of the past and saying it is going to work in the future,” Ghani said.
“Today, we are in a moment in Pakistan where bad strategy has been recognized and we are moving towards formulation of what is good strategy,” he added.
He said a good strategy requires clarity of vision, an analysis of the conditions of today, honestly, carefully, systematically, and the roadmap.
“A sovereign Afghanistan will be a partner of Pakistan in reduction of poverty, in overcoming institutional difficulties, and connecting to a wider set while, Mr. Chowdary, bilateralism is essential it is also fundamental that we think Asia wide,” he said.
He suggested the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to establish a task force in the level of leadership, ministerial level, and at the technical level. He said that the European Union is “serious” in this agenda.
Ghani said that presidential election is a must for Afghanistan and that his mandate comes from the Afghan people, not from “political elites”.
As part of a peace agenda, Ghani said that the notion of the republic is central in rights of the people.
“We have had constructive discussions, the heart of which has been the two sovereign states are talking about cooperation. Afghanistan would never be a colony, would never accept it to be a colony.”