Washington: A top Afghan diplomat on Thursday accused terrorist groups and extremist elements affiliated with Pakistani spy agency, ISI, of fuelling the insurgency in his country.
"The terrorist and criminal groups affiliated with Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, not Afghan villagers, are fuelling the insurgency," M Ashraf Haidari, the Deputy Chief of Mission at Afghan embassy in Washington, wrote in The Washington Post.
Haidari said the costs of premature withdrawal from Afghanistan are far greater than the costs of staying the course until Afghans can stand on their own.
"But for the counterinsurgency to succeed, the Pakistani military establishment must be persuaded to end its institutional tolerance of and active support for extremism, eg the Taliban," he said and alleged that such elements are being supported by ISI.
Haidari said there will be no permanent peace in Afghanistan and stability throughout the region until state-sponsored terrorism is controlled.
Meanwhile, Governor of the key Wardak province, Mohammad Halim Fidai, in a video conference with Pentagon reporters said the "ideological and the financial resources" for the terrorism and insurgency is outside the country.
"It is not within the villages of Afghanistan," Fidai said in response to a question.
"However, there are contributing factors to the insurgency, which includes high illiteracy rates, ill-informed religious scholars and ill-informed traditional elders, community health, poverty, unemployment.”
"These are the contributing factors that could inflame the insurgency, because the Taliban are using these factors to recruit the young people and also deceive the naive and ill-informed Afghan population," Fidai noted.
"That`s why it is very important that the Afghans take the responsibility for their own defence. And we piloted a program in Wardak province, which is called the Afghan Public Protection Force, which is the first layer of defence against the insurgency," he said.
"Haqqani`s group is one of the groups that could utilise these opportunities to create a disturbance and violence in different parts of the country, including Wardak province. And also it is very vital that we also take a regional approach to fighting insurgents," he argued.