Told Pakistan use of militancy will boomerang: Karzai

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New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) Former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai on Tuesday said his country had told Pakistan many times that using militancy and extremism in the country’s policies would boomerang.

Speaking at the inauguration of the three-day Raisina Dialogue, a global conclave on geo-politics and geo-economics, Karzai said that use of militancy and extremism for geo-political gains would never succeed.

“We have told Pakistan many times that this policy of using militancy and extremism will boomerang,” he said.

Stating that there was tremendous goodwill between the Afghan and Pakistani people, he said it was relations between the two governments that were strained.

“I tried very hard (for better ties with Pakistan). I visited Pakistan around 20 times,” the former Afghan president said.

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“We must not encourage state entities in harbouring terrorist elements,” he said.

Karzai said that Afghanistan wanted to be a bridge between south Asia, central Asia, India and China.

“Afghanistan provides the shortest route between China and Iran, India and central Asia, and Russia and south Asia,” he said.

He also said that “we must seek a coordinated approach for connectivity between India and China”.

“Afghanistan fully supports India policy on Central Asia and China’s one road-one belt policy.”

Karzai described the deep-rooted, centuries-old relationship between India and Afghanistan as “exemplary”.

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the Afghan parliament in December last year was greatly appreciated by the people of his country.

With the theme of “Connecting Asia” this year, the flagship conference called Raisina Dialogue 2016, organised by the external affairs ministry and the Observer Research Foundation, is designed to explore and examine the prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s integration with the larger world.

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Over 450 participants from around 40 countries are participating in this year’s conference.

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