HYDERABAD: Terror-hit is hoping that the new prime minister of , cricketer-turned politician , would take “practical steps” to tackle cross-border terrorism while calling on China to use its influence to end militancy in the region.

“The past had promises but no action. We hope that Imran khan, the new leader would undo the past. The past is continued terrorism that damages people of Afghanistan and India. And we hope that there will be an end to the situation, that we have been facing for decades,” Afghanistan Ambassador Shaida Mohammad Abdali told TOI in Hyderabad.

In the city on a two-day tour, Ambassador Abdali said Afghanistan has welcomed Imran’s victory speech. “We hope that Imran Khan with his positive speeches that he gave on his will be realised by practical steps that we will also see in the future,” Abdali said.

Afghanistan has long blamed Pakistan for continued terrorism from its soil, underscoring how dialogue has failed to control the militant groups taking refuge inside Pakistani soil.

“In principle, the prime minister of Pakistan is the person to have the decision and power….. And we hope the change in Pakistan will be for good that we all seek is peace. I think it’s high time the region changes. The status quo is continuation of terrorism and insecurity, that is also politically motivated and not only random terrorist network that we see emerging from ungoverned areas,” he added, referring to militants operating from Pakistan.

Afghanistan also wants big brother China to play a positive role in the region.

“China can certainly play a positive role. It will be very good for the whole region if China uses its influence in Pakistan. This is exactly what China is being viewed by Afghanistan, and China has taken certain steps in the peace process. But we really want tangible results when it comes to the peace process,” the ambassador added.

With an eye on security, Afghanistan wants more defence cooperation from India now, Abdali said.

“The defence cooperation is more than it used to be and we certainly want this relationship to be even more than what it is today,” Abdali said, adding that security challenges can be addressed through multi-faceted cooperation.

“The major segment which can address the major problem more effectively would be to cooperate militarily, security-wise and intelligence cooperation. And we look forward to more engagement in all these areas and we are seeing more progress,” Abdali added.

The Afghan ambassador stressed on how the real challenge that both countries face common problems related to security.

“The highest priority today must go to the question of tackling terrorism. That is the biggest challenge to the region,” he added.

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