Victory within sight: Afghan President Ghani at meeting with Trump

"We are working very hard".

Ghani said US President Donald Trump's new Afghan strategy sent a signal to Taliban guerrillas that they can not win on the field and must negotiate peace.

The Trump administration in August infuriated Pakistan by accusing it of providing extremists haven.

Stressing the need for resolving the Afghan issue, the PM said that negotiated settlement is the only way to restore peace in the country, besides asking for putting focus on talks between Kabul and Taliban.

"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond", Trump had said, warning that Islamabad had "much to lose" by harbouring terrorists.

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"I hope that this time, Pakistan will get the message loud and clear that business as usual can not continue".

Ghani praised US efforts and said there has been "an vast change on the ground".

Unlike Obama, U.S. President Donald Trump has "a team of partners in Afghanistan", Ghani said, and Trump developed his strategy after holding "immense consultations with us".

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ghani, however, stressed that Pakistan's role was a key part of the Trump plan announced last month to end America's longest war in Afghanistan.

Senior officials have said Trump's plan for Afghanistan involves sending up to 3,900 additional USA troops on top of the roughly 8,400 Americans now in the country.

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He said that joint Afghan-U.S. forces were making headway against their opposition, "hitting them hard and hitting them effectively".

The decision was warmly welcomed by Ghani; but there isn't a lot of support back home for extending the war in Afghanistan.

An official statement from the Pakistan PM's office said, "Prime Minister shared Pakistan's concerns and views with regard to the USA strategy for South Asia" adding that the discussions with VP Pence took place in a "cordial atmosphere".

Under the plan, Ghani told NPR that US troops will continue to advise, assist, and train Afghan forces and will not return to a combat role.

The Taliban are rapidly making headway in Afghanistan, with nearly half the country under their covert control already.

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"Such a difference is a deliberate attempt by the government of Pakistan to divert worldwide attention over Pakistan's longstanding failure to take effective action against various terrorist groups and sanctuaries on its territory", an Afghan diplomat representing the country said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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