Addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Russia on Friday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called on representatives of regional nations to fight Daesh militants jointly.
“We have a Daesh presence [in Afghanistan] and we are pleased to report that important elements of Daesh were eliminated in the last three days,” Ghani said at the SCO summit.
Ghani acknowledged that the steady flow of militants from in Waziristan caused by Pakistan’s military operations still presents an major security challenge for Afghanistan. “There is a continuous flow of terrorists from Pakistan that target both countries,” Ghani told the gathering, which included Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif.
In addition to calling for greater air support and broader equipment support for the Afghan forces, the Afghan president sought to tie regional economic and political cooperation to Afghanistan’s national security issues.
“In Afghanistan not only to overcome the past, but to martial our energies to realize a compelling, credible and feasible vision of the future, our proposal is we use Afghanistan as a platform for cooperation,” Ghani said. “Unleash economic potential to root regional cooperation and global cooperation particularly by translating the vision of the silk road to reality.”
Ghani emphasized that Afghanistan security concerns are also those of other countries in the region. “All out war is forced on us, we are fighting on behalf of the region and the world and in this fight we need to be joined by forceful and coherent action,” he said.
Ghani is not the first Afghan president to request greater support from Russia and other nations in the region. Former president Hamid karzai once warned that Afghanistan would get closer to Russia if the U.S. didn’t provide more weapons to Afghan troops.